Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Last Leaves" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


Last leaves cling on to the snow-coated branches of bare trees on a bright winter morning.  I have painted the same scene before.  I would like to think that the new painting has more impact with a dynamic composition, bravado brushstrokes, and loads of paint.  What do you say?

"Winter Creek" (oil, 8 x 10")

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Country Snowman" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


A jolly snowman with a green hat and red scarf greets a frosty morning by the barn.  If this painting doesn't cheer you up, I don't know what will!  Would you be surprised if I tell you that I painted the scene from an old black-and-white photo?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Joyous Peony Bouquet" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


I know that "Joyous Peony Bouquet" is not exactly a seasonal painting except that these pink peonies from my garden have always brought me a great joy and that I painted them joyously!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Festival of Lights" (oil on canvas; 12" x 16") nfs


If you live in the Washington metropolitan area, you are probably familiar with this structure.  It is the Mormon Temple in Kensington, MD.  I was there last Saturday to attend the Greater Washington Suzuki Flute Ensemble's Christmas concert.  Every year during the Festival of Lights, the trees in the church grounds are decorated with millions of lights.  The work that goes into it must take thousands of hours.  Lights of all the colors in the rainbow wrap around the branches of tall trees, short bushes, and every tree in between.  You have to see the Festival of Lights!

I took several pictures before going into the Visitor Center for the concert, because that's what I do--taking pictures.  While looking at them on my laptop on the following day, it occurred to me that a painting of the subject would make a terrific Christmas present for my daughter's flute teacher who happens to be a Mormon.  For someone as special as she, a store-bought gift just doesn't cut it.

I have never painted Christmas lights before, but there is always the first time for every thing.  I am pleased with the way "Festival of Lights" turned out.  I told her that she would have to wait for her present until early January.  I hope she likes the painting!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Charlie the Yorkie" (oil on linen; 7" x 5") sold


Charlie is an 8-year-old Yorkshire terrier, who is luckily not inflicted with hair bows.  A furry ball of joy he is to his human parents.  His mom told me a very cute story.  After his first veterinarian visit, his vet came out of his office with Charlie on his shoulder with a big smile and told her that the puppy was a good one!  I haven't seen him for years although he lives just down the street where I live.  He hasn't grown at all.  He and Finn the Westie are brothers.  Finn is not a big dog, but next to Charlie, he looks like a human hanging out with a hobbit!

"Cutie Westie" (oil, 7" x 5")

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Key Bridge at Sunset" (oil on linen; 11" x 14") sold


I don't believe in multi-tasking.  One thing at a time is my motto.  Having a dinner while conversing, or painting and listening to music at the same time, are some of the few things I would do with profit and pleasure.  Try doing something that requires concentration and simultaneously listening to your teenage daughter's angst.  You may be able to, but I can't.  These days many drivers put their and other people's lives in danger by texting while driving.  One thing at a time, man.

Sometimes, however, I end up multi-tasking.  Here is the story.  Thursday was a very busy day.  It started with a photography session with a client for a commission painting, followed by ice-skating practice, grocery shopping, a visit to my daughter's doctor's office for her flu shot, cooking dinner, and a fundraiser holiday concert at a bookstore where I also got half of Christmas shopping done!

I had started "Key Bridge at Sunset" the day before, but didn't get to finish it.  It was going well.  This was the second time that I tried the same subject; I wanted it to be better than the first painting ("Georgetown at Sunset"), which I felt looked belabored.

Paints were becoming sticky, and I had little time to do finishing touches during the day.  Painting in the kayakers was particularly nerve-wracking.  I didn't want the painting to be about the health benefits of kayaking.  Kayakers, especially the big one at the bottom left, were supposed to balance the painting and add a visual interest to the large expanse of the river.

"Georgetown at Sunset" (oil, 9" x 12")

I finished the painting while grilling rosemary lamb chops and boiling new potato.  My studio, formerly known as the dining room, is right next to the kitchen, so I could pull it off.  Nevertheless, I felt like Daniel Craig playing James Bond, or Jason Statham as the Transporter!

Friday, December 7, 2012

"Spring Robin" (oil on linen; 7" x 7") sold


We have a couple of robins who live in our property.  They behave as if they own it during the nesting season.  One year they nested in a holly bush in front of our front door.  Oy! Whenever we approached it, there was a rush of flight, a loud squawk warning us to back off, etc.  We were glad when the baby birds flew off and we got our house back.  The bird in "Spring Robin" is not our male robin.  Its posture happens to remind me of the Intimidator.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Sunset over Marshland" (oil on linen; 14" x 11") sold


I can paint sunrises and sunsets forever as long as the sun rises and sets.  I have painted sunrises and sunsets over the sea,  lake, beach, harbor, fields, hills, and even my neighborhood, but I like this new painting over marshland the best.

There is a fellow artist, William Van Doren, who has been painting sunrises and sunsets everyday for the past seven years.  Four years ago, he took on the challenge--a series of paintings of the sky over the Lincoln Memorial.  He was inspired by his experience on the extremely cold inauguration day of President Obama.  He told me that he did it for six months to get it right!  I was awed by his dedication.  Can you imagine yourself doing something like that?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Glory of Iris" (oil on linen; 10" x 8") sold


These irises are from Mrs. Thomas's iris farm in Herndon, VA.  For years Margaret Thomas had tended her 5.4-acre iris garden with the help of volunteers.  Her glorious garden, open to the public, used to be filled with irises, peonies, and poppies.  It was truly a sight to behold during the season--a mecca to the iris lovers and plein air painters.

Alas, she passed away last year at the age of 89.  It was her hope that the space could be preserved as a park for the enjoyment of all, but it probably won't happen.  As it is located in the midst of a highly valuable real estate market, as soon as the economy bounces back, the farm will be sold to the highest bidder and developed for multi-million-dollar McMansions.

I painted "Glory of Iris" from a print photo taken about 10 years ago on Mother's Day.  All florals celebrate the transient beauty of flowers.  This particular painting honors a woman who loved flowers as if they were her children.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Autumn Glory" (oil on linen; 12" x 8") sold


These days I feel like I am on fire.  It has to do partly with my hot flashes (!), but mostly it is because of my ardent desire to paint better.  Compare "Autumn Glory" with my one-month-old painting, "Autumn Park."  Which one would you rather have on your wall?  Do they even look like painted by the same person?

"Autumn Park" (oil, 10" x 8")

By the way, doesn't the gnarled tree in "Autumn Glory" look like a tree ent?  I found it in the woodlands at Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria, VA last fall. I wonder if it is still there, or wandered away with some hobbits.