Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shadows in the Garden

This painting is still on the easel...almost done. It's 3am, a 12 x 16, pastel painting, inspired by the view out my bedroom window one bright moonlit night last week.

The stars and clouds are the brightest/lightest values in this nocturne. I included some mysterious shapes that I am often scrutinizing without my glasses in the wee hours. I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of a wild creature...and see what in my garden it is eating.

This is what my night sky used to look like; stars all the way down to the land. Now, sadly, all of my horizons have the glow of not-so distant lights. It is an intrusion I do not welcome. And it is unnecessary. Outdoor lighting can be designed to point the light only where we need it...on the ground. Proper lighting provides better security and better working illumination than the glare emitted from improper lighting. You can find out much more about this by going to International Dark Sky Association.

This painting is done on Colourfix Plein Air Painting Board from Art Spectrum; Aubergine color. These acid free papers and boards are made in Australia with a nice pumice finish. I have used a restrained palette of mainly grey, white, brown, blue and mauve in several different brands of soft pastels; Diane Townsend Soft, Schminke, Sennelier, Unison. It will be framed under glass and offered for sale in the future here in the studio or on the website.

Monday, March 10, 2008

From Various Bridges

This is Secret Place, one in a series of paintings done from bridges. This is actually inspired by some photographs I took and a plein air painting done from a local bridge last October. It is in the current exhibit of my paintings at the Butternut Gallery, mentioned below.

When I am driving over a bridge, my head spins right and left to check out the view and then simultaneously look to see if there is a place to set up the easel or at least to park and take photos. In my very rural county I can often slow to a dead stop in the middle of the bridge to check out these conditions. Finding a favorable bridge is a real goldmine to me. Here in Pennsylvania, trees obscure everything, but they don't grow on bridges and for that I am thankful.

Spending a few hours painting on a two lane bridge where there may be four other vehicles passing me all afternoon is why I tolerate living in this remote (and somewhat backward) corner of Penns' Woods. Being on a bridge often means being above or near the tree tops and really gives a unique view of surroundings.

I am really chomping at the bit for some spring-like weather to drag the easel outside. In 2006 Susquehanna county suffered devastating floods; people lost everything including their land in some cases. It was declared a National Disaster Area and FEMA was here for months, but finally we have many new improved, wider and taller bridges over our myriad small creeks and streams. I plan to put them to good use starting with the first day above 45 degrees! So nice of the government to provide space at the edges for me and my easel!

Popular Posts