While working on some larger works, this was a labor of love. My 8-year old granddaughter asked if I would paint something for her. I decided to paint one of her old toys. Using some tiny (1.5" x 3.5") stretched canvas which I had never tried before, I expected to whip it out in no time. I now have a new appreciation for miniaturists!
During a spring visit to Oxford, MS, azaleas, wisteria and other flowers covered the town. The pink dogwood was in peak bloom when I took this picture in front of William Faulkner's home. The backlighting through the trees added to the interest of the scene. I was drawn to the light and shadows.
I love dragonflies - the irridescent colors and the fact that their favorite food is mosquitoes! Painting on a 6" x 6" panel required my tiniest paint brushes. It was almost more like drawing than painting.
Another in my Oxford, MS series. I had just finished touring William Faulkner's home and as I stood on the door step I saw this scene. Pathways are a reoccuring theme in my paintings. I guess my desire to explore new places - to find surprises around the corner - pulls me in that direction. A friend once noted that my favorite place to visit always seemed to be my most recent.
A friend and I spent a week wandering around the town of Oxford, Mississippi home to the University of Mississippi and William Faulkner. While most of the scenes I painted were in oils, I decided to capture the town square in pastels. After many starts and stops, I finally finished the scene. One of the reasons that I wanted to remember the view was all the great restaurants that surround the square. We had some memorable suppers.
My Russian great-grandmother used to drink tea out of a glass like this one and I like to eat biscotti with tea, so I thought that they would make a good combination. I tried to capture the varied textures of the velvet background, the shiny metal and glass and the flowers. The flowers were the hardest part due to the narrow range of color. There is a nice contrast between the impasto flowers and the smooth vase.
On a recent plein air paintout, I spotted this scene that was too good to pass up. Cabooses are practically a thing of the past. I stopped immediately to capture this remnant of times gone by. The sun was warm with a touch of fall in the air. I enjoy capturing scenes of common locales that people often take for granted.
I'm really facinated with birds of all kinds. I enjoy trying to sculpt the vast array of colors and textures - particularly in pastel. I love watching how they interact with other birds and display their individual personalities. I can watch them for hours. I used velour mat board for this painting. It gives an especially soft feel to the feathers.
While much of north Alabama farmland is being transformed in to huge shopping and entertainment centers, cotton, soybeans, peaches, etc. still can be found growing locally. Watching the fields turn white against the brightly colored patterns of fall color is a pleasing pastime.
This is another of the plein air paintings I did in Courtland, AL. Fall colors are just starting to show, though I think it is more due to the drought we've been experiencing rather than cool weather. Fish were jumping and insects buzzing. The weather was perfect.
Artists across Alabama were invited by the Courtland, AL Historical Society to paint the town for a fundraiser. I don't paint fast, but since the town was close to home, I decided to accept the challenge. I had never visited the town before so everything was new and inviting to paint. I started with the town square. Apparently I captured some of the essence of the town as it sold very quickly. I have so many photos from this painting weekend that you will see more scenes in the future.
Collobrieres is located north of Nice. It was once the capital of the cork industry. There are cork trees everywhere. It is a quiet, charming little place. During the summer festival, the wine flows freely from a "cupid" fountain in the town square.
I have wanted to paint this bird ever since our trip to the Florida Keys last winter. I needed a centerpiece for the Art Fair I participated in yesterday and finished this picture just in time. I love to model 3-D shapes with bold, strong strokes. Pastel also allows me to layer with light passes of the stick to let the lower layers sparkle through. It makes the water appear to have depth.
My fascination with birds continues. As a pilot I'm in awe of these creatures that do so easily what I struggled to learn. At least I can say that I have soared with eagles (really!) and played on the wind.
While standing outside waiting for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia to open, I spotted these pigeons playing in the water. The paint is thick and impasto - I changed the color scheme several times before I was satisfied with the results.
Barns and sheds like this are still found in parts of Alabama outside the cities tucked inside coves and valleys. The peace and quiet evoked by these scenes help us to escape from the hustle and bustle of traffic and noise.
My sister, an avid photographer, loves nature photography and provides me with lots of resource material for painting. Watching her chase insects with her camera is a sight to see, but her persistance pays off as shown in this painting. I tried to capture the irridescent color on the wings and its delicacy.
This little piece was fun to do - I love puns! For all of you pastry connoisseurs out there - I know that it is a seeded bun and not a bagel, but it was all I had at my disposal! If you can think of other puns that might be suitable for painting, please let me know. I like my paintings to bring smiles.
This picture is actually a small portion of another that I painted for inclusion in the "Huntsville Sketchbook" that shows typical scenes of Huntsville, AL through the eyes of area artists. I found this little girl in a cabin at the historic Burritt Museum.
My travels give me so much resource material that it is sometimes hard to choose what to paint next. I'm especially drawn to old street and alley ways. There seems to be a surprise around every corner.
A few years ago I spent two weeks painting in and around a little town called Dieulefit in northern Provence. Watercolor was my "thing" at that time and my pictures were the old fashion kind - not digital! Shuffling through them recently, I rediscovered this charming street where we often ate. I have been working to inject more color in my paintings and decided to try painting on a tomato red background as I have observed other painters doing. It really seems to make the colors "pop". I painted this quickly in an impressionistic style. I like the results and plan to do more.
This is another little plein air piece that I did recently while sitting along a little creek. It was a warm day, but the shade and cool breeze made the afternoon bearable. I was with a group of artists and we were spread out everywhere. When we get back together in the evenings, it is fun and enlightening to see what other artists decide to paint - the scenery, the animals or just the patterns of light.
This painting is from a recent trip to Philadelphia. While staying downtown, Little Pete's Diner was our favorite breakfast spot. This colorful arrangement caught my eye. Simple things with their variety of shapes, colors and shiny surfaces are my favourite things to paint.
This little fellow just begged to be painted. It is not often I get such a willing model and its fee was reasonable too. It is amazing what you learn by painting plants and animals with close observation to details. Maybe schools should combine illustration and painting with biology classes - especially if done in a natural habitat. Much more interesting that reading (and forgetting) cold facts in a book.
I have been doing a series of 6" x 6" oils and pastels lately. Going through my vast photo collection I found this scene and decided to try it in pastel. Working small with big sticks is a challenge, but I'm finally satisfied with the results.
This is a little plein air piece I did. I'm not a very fast painter out in "the wild" and the sun won't hold still! That's why I named the piece "Chasing Shadows". It's like trying to paint a moving target. Colors and shadow patterns are constantly changing. Cloudy days are easier, but the colors aren't as interesting. Right now I'm in a color mood - the brighter the better. Just wait till you see my next one!
Continuing my current whim of painting shiny things, I found this triangular vase to paint. The vertical format is a change from my usual horizontal. The graceful leaves along the stem break up the hard lines in the image. The limited color range is also sort of restful. Painting on smaller canvases forces me to look at simpler things to paint.
I would like to start my blog with a very recent painting (still wet) that I think says a lot about me. I love the sparkle of crystal and bright colors. I am drawn to the complexity of people, places and things. Boredom is not part of my vocabulary. I often notice details frequently overlooked by others and sometimes have to deal with data overload. I am awed by the simplest things when seen under various light conditions. The colors in shadows are often as exciting as the objects themselves. It is my hope that my daily paintings will give the viewer a new perspective on the world and the things in it.