Sunday, August 11, 2019

Grateful Notices: Water, Land and Sky in Flow Oil on canvas, 36 X 60

Water, Land and Sky in Flow
Oil on canvas, 36 X 60   Private collection, CT
Exhibited: Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

The way light plays on the surface of lakes is a constant fascination to me. With this oil the lake is a factor but it is equally weighted with the bright, yellow trees in the distance.

This is likely the 5th or so version of this arrangement. As the painting progressed through the different trials, more glowing colors emerged and the overall look of the oil continued to get brighter. 

Each trial yielded a completed painting but after a few days of viewing what I had, those brighter shapes called out for more to be done. In this final version, there is movement everywhere, carried along by the changes in colors and in the way that the mass of the trees and cloud bank are surrounded by the atmosphere in the upper sky its reflection on the lakes surface. 

As it turns out, the painting titled itself. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Works: Soft Summer Light and Summer Song, oils on panel 30 x 30 inches

Oil on canvas, 30 X 30 inches $3700 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Oil on canvas, 30 X 30 inches $3700 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Summers produce an abundance of green and considerably less color options than a colorful fall provides. The challenge set forth with these two oils was that they would have summer in the title and that they would have to be compelling works, despite the solid green summer fields and trees.

So, what’s the plan? 

When I was a newly-minted painter, I would use the few greens I had purchased and invariably, my works would be too green, too much the same and not very attractive. Greens are a trap for many landscape painters including myself back then, so to be a better painter, other strategies had to be developed as quickly as possible.

In this oil, a variety of greens in muted tones are put into play. The landscape can be awash in green but the overall effect is subdued. The colors are a bit more muted and the overall effect is softer and it allows the other interesting colors to share the space.

Summer just got a bit more interesting.

Friday, July 26, 2019

New Work: Brilliant Forest, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Brilliant Forest,  oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches    $6650 framed
Gallery 89, Steamboat Springs, CO

Working on this canvas was like being in a candy store. There is a lot of color and form packed into this scene, like a big bowl of bright candy wrappers bursting with color and concealing the bright flavors hidden inside.

The bright trees in the back intensify the composition and care was taken to make the darks interesting as well. The shadows are also an important design element and their presence became a happy excuse for the application of even more color at the bottom of the canvas.

It was very satisfying to finish this oil since it was started about 4 years earlier. There were numerous changes and improvements along the way, and each alteration moved the work closer to the goal of creating this expressive forest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Grateful Notices: Winter's Morning II, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Winter's Morning II, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Exhibited, Renjeau Gallery Natick, MA Private collection

This was a very enjoyable endeavor. The oil is very freshly done, starting with two sessions of turp-thinnned paint. 4 feet square is a lot of area to cover, so using the thinned oils in the first two painting sessions allowed me to completely fill in the canvas and put the composition in a good place for a finish. 

In this version I've added more light, greener foliage and detail.

Being an artist is a real privilege and the joy flowed into this work.

New Work: Summer by the Shore, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Summer by the Shore, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Patterns are intriguing and helpful when painting flat landscapes. I was first attracted to the shape of the summer clouds but once that red-purple band was painted in, the rest of the oil became a playground of pooling water, strips on land and vegetation.

Everything merged together, unifying the painting and creating interesting things to see in every part. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

New Work: Light Beyond, pastel 18 1/2 x 22 3/8 inches

Light Beyond
Pastel on sanded paper,  18 1/2 x 22 3/8 inches
This started as a pastel demonstration a number of years ago. I came across it when I was clearing things out of my studio and pulled it out to work on.

I still remember being a bit stumped at the time of the workshop, working carefully while talking to the class. Once I saw it again, the solutions poured out in rapid order.

For the most part, the moves were about boldness, adding complexity and insuring that every part of the pastel has its own interest while adding to the whole. The piece surprises me with the iridescent blues and how they move. As I added blues, it was if they were in a conversation with each other, instructing me to push more and bring more blue to the party.

Care was taken to preserve the dark masses at the top to better frame the light play in the back of the scene. I love pastels...

Friday, July 5, 2019

New Work: In the Colorful Forest, oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches

In the Colorful Forest
Oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches   $9950 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

Creating this oil was pure joy. It is all about patterns and color and the combinations are endless. A lot of moves were made here. The forest was much less populated in the earlier versions and the colors more subdued.

As I added more trees to improve the composition, the painting called out for more color. Additional density was added to the background leaves along with a bit of aqua to the upper right.

Once the aqua was in place, it made the rest of the oil seem a bit duller, a happy problem that was solved with brighter color and more of them. Every color was taken higher and as they were added,  the forest came alive.

Who would think that a bit of aqua would require changes across the entire 6 foot expanse? That is how I see things and it is a delight to be an artist.