Nature caught in watercolor
A balancing act in spontaneity and control while remembering to breath .
I have always been inspired by nature; its forms, colors, textures, and especially by the play of light over and through the subject. When I can catch the fleeting effects of ambient light it is a magic moment for me. If I can also catch the essence of my subject; its mood, character, fragility, movement, or stability then magic has surely occurred. I love gardens and have always been a gardener, creating gardens wherever we have lived. Many of my paintings are of landscapes or garden details. I show and sell originals and hope to get them posted here soon.
Retirement from teaching in 2013 has allowed me time to work in watercolors. I work “en plein-air” whenever possible and at other times from memory using photos only for reference. My painting is evolving slowly as I gain confidence and experience and has recently begun to include figure studies. I am also working on developing a line of note cards with a garden/bird theme which will eventually span the four seasons. Continuing a love of ceramics I design and paint glazed ceramic tiles. I have done custom work; creating tiles for kitchens, baths, and other installations. These designs like my note cards are based on details taken from nature.
I am excited to be able to share my work with you and others through this blog.
Thank you, for taking a moment to “catch the magic”.
Angel in the dust
It is said that in chaos there is creativity or that one may come out of another. well surely my life is proof of that for the more unstable I become the more my creativity flourishes and vice versa. I have found it very hard to post to my blog because, frankly, that takes a large measure of dedication and discipline. I do so admire those of you who manage to post at regular intervals. Some even post every day or more frequently. Your work ethic is enviable.
Having returned from camping up in Maine and traveling down to Virginia to visit with family I have temporarily abandoned watercolor in favor of working in clay. I think i am ducking the issue of what to put up for visitors to see.
Scattered about the studio are many unfinished paintings of boats and waves and gardens all of which deserve to be given consideration. which will I turn to next? And then there is the immediate need to reorganize and hang work left over from my June show. This must be done before the next Open Studio day which is on August 6th.
Somewhere and sometime out of this chaos I hope to settle down into a comfortable routine of productive art making. For the moment though this is a good picture of where I am.
Well actually a week of drop dead beautiful mornings in Maine while tenting up in Acadia both on Mt Desert Island and on Schoodic Peninsula. i relished the solitude and the quiet. I guess I’m not much of an extrovert for i really enjoyed being by myself and alone with my dreams. Hmmm… the ocean and some loons were companion enough. The late evening light was beautiful. i only wish i had the fortitude to work hard enough to capture it. I promise myself I’ll keep trying-there are those who care and the beauty of ocean and woods are calling.
Somehow February has vanished before it even properly began. i painted a full sheet and ditched it. Painted little sketches and hid them. Didn’t paint and felt horrible. i have done quite a bit of net working and some painting with under glazes on ceramic tiles. Eventually those will be fired and might be posted here. On paper i really only have this birch tree: painted on a half sheet of Arches hot press
and these sparrows in the witch hazel painted on Arches hot press 11″x14″
i also added a background to this mallard and diddled his eye…
The white throat sparrows where the most fun. And, I also enjoyed doing the sky for the birches. i did botanical studies for the witch hazel although i never took a photograph of them.It’s not much to show for 10 days. I suppose i might legitimately include the dozen or more tiles of i’ve done but who knows when those will be fired. Mostly I spent time networking with other people. While i did sell enough art to pay my rent this month I’m feeling the “price” of doing business is too high. I’d rather just wander around looking, sketching, and painting –
and picking up ideas for more pictures like these scenes in Collinsville.
Two bells, 9 O’clock, followed me out the door to the car. Warming the engine I glanced down, 9:06 on the dash already. I’m always late it seems-always in a hurry. Fastening my seat-belt I curved out onto the Highway and across the top of the hill. The empty road dipped around a bend, cold and grey in the wet February morning.
Descending to my left the double yellow line abruptly disappeared into a dense pillow of white. The valley below was filled with fog. Breathtakingly beautiful from above the fog lay folded into the valley like a soft snow-white comforter. Then the vision was gone and I slowed to find the next corner. Turning off the highway I parked to rendezvous with a friend for a morning walk in the mist, destination safely obtained.
What a lovely beginning to a wonder filled circuit past sugar woods, streams, marshes and ponds. This is the circuit I always walk. Just a little over three miles it never fails to delight but today was made magical by the mist punctuated by the clamor of geese returning home.
I realize that i have been very remiss in posting to my blog. There has been so much change in my life over the last several months and i have been badly distracted. I hope to return to my circuit and begin to post more of my art and more news of my art activities. There is so much to catch up on!
Somehow my day escaped without any art work happening unless one can count hanging pictures and touching up trim and floor in the studio with new paint.
Anyway here is a duck i painted on Tuesday. On Wednesday I formed more hand cast ceramic tiles but didn’t bother to photograph those. My life continues limping along in a rather fractured manner and I keep hoping things will settle into place soon. It’s critical to keep working. I am looking forward to peaceful productivity after this weekend and the Opening for my New Studio is over.
the duck on my desk in front of one of the paintings in the studio.
A diversion Wednesday morning at 6:48 as the sun throws its shadow on the moon setting over the West meadow just before dawn.
I saw these drakes on a pond next to the Green House Cafe where a friend and I went to lunch several weeks ago. the weather had turned abruptly cold and they had flown out to their customary paddling spot only to land in and discover it nearly completely frozen over. the landing skid marks were fascinating. The ducks looked disgusted but their necks gleamed in the sunlight and the sight stuck in my memory. two weeks later when the restaurant owner tried to get them to fly around to the pond into the sun for me they wouldn’t even budge from their pen. so this picture was painted from memory. Now i am embarking on a study of ducks.
I’m OK with the head on this one and appalled by the line of his back. It should be much flatter. I’ve got to be more deliberate when I am drawing. Getting attitude right is every thing in drawing ducks. Plumage is the next most important part and I doubt I’ll ever have the patience to do it well.
This close up shows a little bit of the fussy nature of painting head feathers.
One of the art forms i had enjoyed years ago was doing hand painted ceramic tiles. I thought it would be fun to paint a few of them to have available for folks visiting my new studio as most of my original tiles were now given away or sold. Our ceramist at FVAC graciously offered to fire them for me and the first batch is in his kiln as I type.
most of these are of bees and other pollinators in the garden.
Welcome to my new studio. Some may think I’ve lost my mind and maybe I have but, I am pretty sure this was the right move to make. I am now renting studio 9A having been accepted through a jury process into the Farmington Valley Art Center as a new member. I am delighting in this vibrant group of professional artists composed of painters, sculptors, ceramists, print makers, chair-caners, fiber artists, jewelers, interior designers, film makers, and photographers. It is like going to school while staying at home and doing one’s own art-simply awesome.
I have so much to learn as the “new kid on the block”. Not the least of which is how to swim in this world of professional art. For the moment I am content to get back to my own painting and I hope to have something to show here soon. I am looking forward to further developing my love for teaching and reaching out to students eager to stretch their artistic wings and fly free. I believe there is an artist in each of us just longing to be free. But it takes courage to jump into the unknown. I hope to make that jump less scary for those who are ready to take it.
I am continuing to show work locally. I currently have several pieces hung in Gallery on the Green in Canton. And I welcome anyone who is in the area to visit Studio 9A at FVAC just off rt44 in Avon Ct. where I have many examples of my work on display. I am generally in the studio from 9:30 to 4:00 with a break at noon M, T, Th, F, and Sat. Visitors are always welcome. Call ahead to be certain if you wish.