Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Tidal Basin in Bloom" (oil on linen, 7" x 7") sold


The Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival is an irresistible subject for a painter.  But it is impossible to paint en plein air with all those people milling around.  The reference photo was taken on a misty, overcast day, which created a romantic mood.  When parts of the country are under snow, it's perhaps good to remember that the spring will come in about three or four months.

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Down the Path" (oil on linen, 8" x 10") sold


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We wished for a white Christmas, but it didn't happen in northern Virginia.  Just a little dusting. 

Today I am sharing an old work--one of my first plein air paintings.  It was painted last year at River Farm in Alexandria in early autumn, when the leaves hadn't yet begun to change colors.  I have always be attracted to paths.  If there aren't any, I sometimes invent one as a way of inviting the viewer into the painting.  In this scene, two pathways join and lead you far into the woods.  One wonders what will await you when you get there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Lotus Season" (watercolor on paper; 12" x 8")

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Every summer, when the lotus season comes around, I head to the waterlily pond at the Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria to greet these glorious flowers.  The sun was high when I took the reference photo and the flowers and huge leaves all glowed with translucency.  Initially, I left the background white, but it didn't work.  When I dropped the dark, granulating paints and allowed them mingle on the paper, the painting began to glow!

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Peony Season" (watercolor on paper; 6" x 6")

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Every now and then during the flowering season, I arrange flowers from my garden on a piece of white paper and take pictures for my watercolor still lifes.  I am more interested in shadows than flowers themselves.  Photographing is necessary because the shadow shapes will keep changing as the sun moves.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Pink Cherry Blossoms" (watercolor on paper; 5" x 7 1/2")

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A dusting of snow last night, and quite chilly today in northern Virginia.  More images of warmer days to cheer you on.  "Pink Cherry Blossoms" is another watercolor painting that was juried into the Small Works Show at The Art League in 2002.  I was busily uploading my old artwork on paper onto my website over the weekend, and kept finding these small paintings.  Perfect!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Crab Apple Blossoms" (watercolor on paper; 5 1/2" x 7 1/2")

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One to two feet of snow in Minnesota.  Luckily in northern Virginia, we didn't get the freezing rain that the weather forecasters had been predicting.  Winter is here.  Let's think warm, like spring time.  The inspiration of the above painting came from the brilliantly back-lit crab apple blossoms in my backyard.  This jewel of a watercolor painting was juried into the Small Works show at The Art League show in 2003.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Hush, Baby" (acrylic on paper; 4" x 6")

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This is an old piece, but seemed appropriate for the season of angels.  It's an acrylic painting (on paper) of an angel statue in Burgundy, France.  The spots in the background that look like lights sparkling in the sky were created by dropping rubbing alcohol to the still damp surface.  The painting was juried in the Art League Small Works Show in Alexandria, VA in 2002.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Miss Daisy and Lambs" (oil on linen; 11" x 14") sold


Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota is a historic working farm that grows oats, hay, sorghum, and animals.  We saw oxen, horses, Miss Daily (one-year-old heifer), chickens, lambs, three piglets, and their mom.  On this hot, hot August day, Miss Daisy and two lambs were huddled together trying to find shade, although there wasn't much.  The scene was so funny that I just had to paint it.

I have a thing for animals; my favorites are sheep and giraffes.  I have painted cows, sheep, elephants, giraffes, polar bears, zebras, pandas, ostriches, ducks, geese, etc., although I don't consider myself an animal painter.  It must be their endlessly beautiful forms.