Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

For weeks I've had a sparkling new 18 Colour Pearlescent Assortment of pastels sitting open on my work table. Everytime I glanced over, it made me smile a little because I adore the colors and they shimmer. I had no idea what I would actually use them for. I assumed that when the time was right I'd put them on a garden painting or maybe use them in a restrained manner in a landscape. It didn't matter because having the box next to me was good enough reason for their existence. In retrospect I see that the box resembled one of those compartmentalized storage boxes in which shiny tree ornaments are kept for eleven months of the year.

Christmas Day was a quiet, grey one here and when I walked into the studio I knew exactly what these particular pastels would do for me; inspire me to paint "Lonely Little Holiday Tree."

Great American Art Works uses delightful names for their colors - Blue Morpho, Black Pearl, Dusk, Whitecaps, Cameroon and Alpenglo.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Working in Series

all SOLD

The last thing I do at night before retiring is check the sky to see where the moon is...and the first thing I do upon rising. There is something reassuring for me to see the cyclical nature of the moon changing shape and position in a predictable way. Rounding a corner on my way home and catching a glimpse of a full orange just-rising moon can lift my mood immediately.

Today I am finishing up a small series of four winter moonscapes. These simple, four-inch high watercolors are part of a much larger series of moonscapes; sort of a series within a series. I've been putting moons into my paintings for decades.

Working in a tight series, like this one, gives me a chance to explore some options of color and composition. I have confined my subject closely by making the moon the center of attention in each painting and using a similar color scheme.

I rarely show these "little paintings" on my website...and the photos you see here are not the usual professional ones...I took these photos. (I'm sure my usual photographer will appreciate this disclaimer) You can see these four paintings here or framed the next time you visit my studio.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Revisiting a Site

Over the years I've noticed that certain specific locations are fertile ground for my paintings. This particular place has given me more than a few good paintings. It is a comfortable place to paint on a bridge. It is rare to have low traffic while enjoying an elevated vantage point. Many years ago I realized the benefits to be gained from returning to "the scene". At that time I was persisting, stubbornly, in trying to paint a certain small waterfall with disastrous results time and again. On my self-declared final try I got a painting I liked. I think it was then that the light bulb went off! I need more than one painting session to learn enough about a location to make a decent painting. These days I have fewer failures and more successes the first time out, but it is still a pleasure to paint a familiar spot on an unfamiliar day and see what kind of "new" painting emerges. In fact, it is very rewarding and comfortable.

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