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Friday, July 31, 2009

Hmmm... Hmmm... Hummmmmm

Shady Porch. Oil on canvas, 8x10, sold

At our house, we don't have a front porch, but we do have a back deck. If you sit there for long enough, you'll be treated to a hummingbird display.

There's just nothing on earth that approaches the hummers' flying prowess. They zoom across the deck, in arcs that they can change from shallow to tight in a millisecond. They zip past your head, so close that you can feel the air pulsing from the beating of their wings. If you sit still enough, they'll come close and hover, to see who you are and what you're doing. Peter saw one, involved in a hummingbird battle, zoom between the metal arm and the seat of one of our chairs.

We have a feeder that attaches to the window over the kitchen sink, and the hummers use it all the time now. They were a little wary at first, but it didn't take them long to get over it. Now, if the feeders have run out of nectar (and they do, astonishingly quickly, considering the size of the feeders and the size of the birds), the hummers come to the kitchen window and hover there, giving us dirty looks, until we get out and feed them.

This is one of the true delights of summer, in my mind.

Thanks for reading!

If you mis-type 'Pink,' you get 'Oink'


Pinks. Pink I, above, 8x10. Pink II, below.



In a few hours, as soon as I pack the van and finish some straggling details, I leave for Maine, and my solo show at the Denmark Arts Center.

I've spent this week with my head down, working nonstop, framing, framing, framing, and finishing paintings, and ruing the laziness that keeps me from putting those finishing touches - and signatures - on paintings when I paint them.

With this big push, I've finished much of the work for my New York show, too, so that should take some pressure off at the end of the month.

Casey, my talented painting student, was asking me what it's like to have a show. It's draining, nerve-wracking, terrifying and thrilling, all at the same time. It's a delight to see your best work framed and hanging in a space made for art.

But the very best thing, is when someone comes in expecting not to be moved and finds that, in fact, he or she is indeed moved by something I've painted. Something I've made touches something in them - and isn't that what we all are about, when you really come down to it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Edge of the Catskills. Oil on stretched canvas, 11x13, sold

Just out of the frame of this painting stands a snow fence. Hanging from it and propped on it are flowers, stuffed animals, mementos.

On a day close to graduation a few years ago, several teens from Port Jervis, N.Y., died there, in a car wreck.

This crash, and others that happened after and before, set the staff of the Times Herald-Record, the paper where I worked, on a mission to change teens' driving behavior. The project, Not One More, involved most of the staff, and was headed by the newsroom management team, composed of me, Mike Levine, Terry Egan and my immediate supervisor.

Looking for facts on this crash this morning when I posted this painting, I downloaded some pdfs of our work, and I must say I was a little stunned. I knew at the time that it was good. I knew that I was working with a group of people who were changing the way newspapers told stories, presented information, engaged with the community. I knew that we were doing important work.

I just didn't know how good it was. (To judge for yourself, click here. The work we did was before April 2007, in the pdf files in the center of the page. )

Now, that little management team is no more. Mike is dead. My job and Terry's job were eliminated in the first round of staffing cuts, in 2007.

Looking for the facts of the crash made me think this morning of journalism, and my career. Finding those pdfs set off in me a feeling somewhat like longing, or at least nostalgia.

Then, the phone rang. It was Gail Geraghty, one of my reporters in Maine. Now, she's working for the paper in Bridgton, and is writing a piece on me and my art for the paper there. Exciting!

She made a bunch of interesting points, discussing my painting, and I took particular heart in two - one, that in newspapers, I worked in a field that created community. Now, I'm doing the same thing - just in a different way.

The second point she made was this: It's liberating to be free of daily journalism!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hmmm

Settling Down. Oil on canvas, 11x14

On Friday, I taught my first art lesson. My student, luckily for me, is astonishingly talented. She's a 14-year-old daughter of friends of Peter's and mine, and she draws better than I ever will. But she'd like some guidance at painting, and so I agreed to give it a try.

I've done a fair amount of teaching in my life, and when it comes to teaching formally, in school (in my case, teaching copy editing and page design at the State University of New York at New Paltz), I really didn't enjoy it.

Well, let me revise that. I enjoyed it up to the point where I had to give grades. I enjoyed the coaching and mentoring aspects, building relationships with the students, witnessing their growth.

I loved teaching pottery, at the Stonington Community Center. And, judging from one session of teaching a gifted student, I'm going to love teaching painting.

Fear pales so, in the face of success.

The Quick Hit

Storm. Oil on stretched canvas, 36x36. sold

Rain is rare in Arizona, but I lucked into some while I was visiting my father and stepmother in Tubac. A big, dark storm rolled in, with wind that tossed the palm trees, and rain that pelted on the dust and kicked up that summer scent before drenching the area.

Then, the sun slipped below the black clouds and lighted on a field of golden grass, and touched the outlines of the mountains in the distance, and the storm muscled off to the east.

Here in New England, rain and snow become a background. They become the personality of the place, for weeks and sometimes months on end. Out west, weather seems typically more momentary - a flash of thunder, a knot of storm, and then the day is sunny once again.

I think people's personalities mirror the weather, more than most of us acknowledge.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fostering Art

Gray Day
Oil on stretched canvas, 20x20,

sold

A couple months ago, a friend forwarded an email from Fostering Arts, a group in Foster, R.I., that helps all sorts of artists get their work out to the public.

Right now, thanks to the efforts of Kim McHale, the PR person for the group, paintings of mine are hanging in a suite of doctors' offices in East Greenwich, R.I. Two more paintings are on their way to Foster Old Home Days. In Rhode Island, old home days are really small-town fairs, celebrating everything that's wonderful about these burgs.

There's plenty that's wonderful about Foster. It's beautiful, very rural, and very much unspoiled, even though it's only about a half an hour from Providence. When you drive around, you see horses in people's back yards, and woodsheds already brimming with logs for the coming winter. You see gardens and waterfalls and beautiful, open fields. I stopped just outside downtown Foster (that would be the fire station) and made this painting. I think three cars passed me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Painting in Public

Old Golden. Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 12x12. Contact Sandy at Center Framing & Art (860-233-7804) for price and shipping information.

It's fascinating to watch people watch me paint, especially when I'm painting with a palette knife.

Even with a brush, my paintings generally look like a big, messy mess until I'm way more than half done. I tend to start with the darkest spots, then move around on the canvas, with the lazy girl's technique of applying the colors I've already mixed. Wherever the dark green should go, well, I paint there, whether "there" is attached to anything or not.

People edge around the canvas to look, and I'm pretty sure they're expecting to see a recognizable painting that's partly done, and instead, they get a canvas with a bunch of blobs of color here and there. Most of the time, the lookers sort of blanch, mutter something and walk away. If they come back later, and look at the finished painting, they're stunned.

Sometimes I need to remember that my life is an awful lot like my painting. In progress, and up close, it's sometimes a messy mess, but in the longer run, and from a distance, it has some beauty and some grace - if I remember to step back and look.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zesters, Unite!

Three Years. Oil on canvas, 8x10. Not for sale.

During my life in journalism, I worked at papers all over the country. My dear husband (who, before we met, had lived for 13 years in the same apartment) and I moved again and again and again, as I followed my dream and built my career.

Finally, at the Times Herald-Record, I found a job and a place and people that I loved. Finally, I was done with looking. Finally, I'd landed in the place where I'd stay for the rest of my working life.

Five years later, my job was eliminated and I was sent packing.

Not so long after I was kicked out, others were kicked out, too. Some of them, and others who left of their own accord, have started a weekly online paper, the Zest of Orange (the Times Herald-Record is in Orange County, NY). We have a lovely, fun, scintillating little weekly, with news, art, opinions and a fictional serial written by yours truly.

This was something the late Mike Levine and I cooked up at the Record, as a way to entice readers to open the paper between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a busy time, and readership falls off in many newspapers. Mike and I thought the serial idea would be fun, and we thought it just might work.

It did, and I wrote a handful of serials for the Record, and one for the Kent County Daily Times, while I was the editor there. That one won a Rhode Island Associated Press first-place award for creativity.

So, check it out. Go to the Zest home page, and look around. To find my serial, "The Travels of Zoe, the Wonder Dog," do a search for my name. And enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Fair

Out in the Fields
Oil on stretched canvas, 16x20

sold

Well, I'd say that my first outdoor art fair was a success.

I was the first artist to arrive at the Art on Groton Bank site, at the Bill Memorial Library lawn in Groton. Two of the organizers were there already, and I'll just say that one was fairly organized while the other was well-meaning but fairly disorganized.

I waited for about a half an hour to see if decisions would be made, then I pretty much took my life in my hands and started to set up the tent.

I had some very minor issues, but all in all, for my first time out, the set-up went smoothly, and the display looked fine. Peter took some photos, which I will post when he gets them to me.

I had wire panels along two walls, with paintings hanging along the entire inside, and on the outside of one of the panels. I'd thought I had brought too many paintings, but I could have brought more. And I should buy more screens, if I can find them. I bought these 20 years ago, for Peter, and they have withstood shows, many moves and several major floods, and still work - and look good.

I invited all my friends from the area, and two came, and that was wonderful. I'm so glad to show my new paintings to people who have been following my work. Even though this was a very small show, hundreds of people visited my tent, spent some time, wanted to hear about my painting, the Art for Shelter Animals Project, Arizona - and just connect. A lovely woman from Groton bought one of my favorite pieces, so it was a financially successful day as well as a fun one.

I've thought a lot about the differences between a gallery show and an outdoor fair, and I'm beginning to understand my skittishness about doing this outdoor stuff. In a gallery, I can be pretty well assured that there will be a crowd, and that it will be made largely of my friends and supporters. There will be no distractions. I might be showing with another person, but there will not be 20 other artists vying for the attention and spending power of the attendees. The reception is likely to be strongly positive, because the event is engineered to be positive.

The outdoor fair is so much more of a crapshoot. My work has to stand out - but still appeal to the kind of person who goes to a fair. It has to be priced right - too expensive, and no one will buy it. Too cheap, and people will think it might be junk. I have to be friendly but not pushy, available but not intrusive, interesting but not off-putting. I have to be ready to sell, but happy just to make the connection, start the relationship.

So, it's a new challenge, a new set of skills to develop.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Revival

Indiana Farm
Oil on stretched canvas, 10x10


Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

I just put some finishing strokes on this painting from my Arizona trip. I have a few more paintings remaining from that journey. Some of these are pieces that I simply didn't finish on the road; others are paintings I thought I didn't like, once I got home.

This painting was one of those. It really paled in comparison to the big canvases, the bold colors, the heavily painted pieces I did in the sunny plains of the Southwest. But I've realized that it has a small, quiet rural charm that I like.

I finally bought a tent, so that I can do outdoor shows. I have hemmed and hawed about this, and at last, I came to understand that it wasn't the expense of buying the tent that was holding me back. It was the potential of rejection. First, rejection from the shows themselves. Second, rejection from buyers.

One thing about what I am doing is that it puts me out there, day in and day out, with no protection other than my full belief that I'm doing something I was put on this earth to do. Most days, that's plenty. Some days, my soul is absolutely naked.

All of you help to protect me. Thank you.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blue Lab

Black Lab. Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 12x12. 
please contact me for price and shipping/delivery info

 
Painting this black Lab made me think, of course, about my mother. The anniversary of her death is coming up, and I notice how uneven my behavior is, how uncertain I am about everything, and how difficult it is right now for me to focus.

Mom had Dalmatians while she was growing up, and we had Dalmatians while we were growing up. They were funny, eccentric, insane dogs, and I loved them. But enough is enough, and the Dalmatians were followed by black Labradors.

Jake, the first, was a strong, lazy, short-legged Lab. He adored my mother, and was content simply to be around her. He was a huge slob, and we christened the area around his water bowl "Lake Jake."

Ben, my mother's second Lab, was a long-legged, schitzophrenic, perpetually destructive dog. At one point, he pulled my mother down and broke her kneecap. He chewed more shoes and books than I can count, and his behavior engendered at least a dozen phone calls that focused around my mother's momentary hatred of her dog.

This, of course, always passed. She could buy more shoes, more books. And if she couldn't really replace whatever it was that Ben had chewed, well, it was, in the end, a thing, and as such, was less valuable than Ben himself.

Ah, Mom. How I miss you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Project Pooch

Yorkie. Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 12x12. sold

Sandy, the owner of Center Framing & Art in West Hartford, came up with a great idea when I was painting there on Saturday.

She wants me to make 12 paintings of dogs, all on 121x12 canvases. She'll fill the front window of the gallery with these paintings.

I'm pretty psyched. I love painting landscapes, absolutely love it. But I love painting dogs, too.

Murad Sayen, a wonderful Maine painter, photographer, writer and teacher (check out his website, Shadowchasers) suggested that it's not a great idea to mix pet portraits with landscapes. The gap, apparently, is somewhat akin to the difference between "literature" and "detective novels."

Philistine that I am, I'm as happy with a good detective novel as with a good piece of literature on pretty much any day. Ditto pet paintings and landscapes. Character always shows, I guess!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Kansas Hills

High Noon
Oil on stretched canvas
Sold

Kansas is nowhere near as flat as I'd thought. I imagined it flat as a tabletop, stretching for eternity. If you got a marble rolling right, you could roll it all the way across Kansas.

I was so wrong.

Kansas has a surprising number of hills - big ones, small ones, rolling hills, hills that approach an Easterner's idea of a mountain. I'd say Kansas is far hillier than Rhode Island.

I saw this shed at the top of a pretty big hill in Kansas. The sun was setting, and I was tired, and I got about a mile past this scene before I turned around and took some photos. There are telephone poles in my photograph, but I took them out of the painting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Finally, Summer

Otisville Afternoon
 Oil on stretched canvas, 8x10, sold

At long last, summer has arrived, and I welcome it! I love the yellow light, the long shanks of evenings, the early gentle dawns. I love the heat and the sweat, the birds and the mosquitoes, the smell of the earth finally, finally warming.

It might be too late for most of the vegetables, and for many of the flowers. Oh, sure, we'll get something, but not a regular summer's worth. Still, the roses have loved these cool, wet weeks, and the impatiens have flourished, and here and there, the perennial seeds I planted have begun to poke through.

While I painted this, the sun warmed the grasses and the tips of the trees, and the shadows fell, blue and green on the yellow field, and it was something like a rainbow, splayed along the ground. What heaven.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Upright and Painting

Above, LaSalle Street. Oil on canvas panel, 8x24. Contact Sandy at Center Framing & Art for price information. The phone number is 860-233-7804. Painting on left, below, is also LaSalle Street. It's oil on stretched canvas, 11x14. Contact Sandy at Center Framing & Art for price information.


Back home from working on our house in New York, I awoke to find that I couldn't stand. My back had - surprisingly - gone out, somehow.

This happens about once a year to me. One time, Peter squeezed me in a big hug, and I heard something crack, and my back was fine. This time, I spent a day and a half on the couch, to the delight of the dogs, and by this morning, I was able to stand and walk and carry things and, most importantly, paint.

Sandy from Center Framing & Art in West Hartford Center had invited me to paint on the sidewalk in front of the gallery. It happened to be in the middle of West Hartford Days, so I was guaranteed a crowd.

I painted all day, and even though I didn't sell anything, I had a great time. My brother Rand came, with his wife Molly and their daughter Larkin. I met all sorts of new people. The strollers and shoppers were friendly and interested, and I got all sorts of oohs and aahs.

Tired and sore by the end of the day, I neglected to take photos of my paintings. I had to double back, and these two pieces already were in the window. Even though they're not the straight-on photos I usually shoot, I think you can get a good sense of them. Cityscapes! A departure for me - and I really enjoyed the challenge.

Thanks for reading - and if you came out to West Hartford Saturday, thanks for saying hi.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blue Evening

Otisville Park
Oil on stretched canvas, 6x12


Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

A couple days ago, after a long day's work on the house here in New York, I treated myself to a dinner of steamed dumplings from the little Chinese place in Otisville.

For reasons I do not understand, we always end up living near good Chinese restaurants. I'd thought our luck would run out here, in Cuddebackville, but lo and behold, there's a wonderful if truly dingy place five minutes from our house.

So I got my dumplings and decided to dine in the car. I pulled up to a new little park just outside of bustling downtown Otisville, and watched the shadows fall.

The dusk gathered among the tree trunks, and spilled out onto the lawn, and soon enough, in the evening's blue quiet, two deer edged out from the woods and ate the newly planted grass.

Last night, when I returned to paint, there were no deer, but the shadows were as blue and as long and as lovely.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

'The Drowned Lands'

Black Dirt, Looking North. Oil on stretched canvas, 10x20. sold

I did a stupid amount of work yesterday. My neighbor, Darryl, came over early, and we tore out carpeting and padding and loaded it into his truck. We pulled up staples, and we cleaned and swept and vacuumed. I finished the gardening, and spread wood chips and pulled an acre of weeds.

My reward was to go to the Black Dirt region to paint. I found an ideal spot, and made one painting looking south and another looking north. The views were simply breathtaking.

I talked to Darryl when I got back to our house.

"Where'd you go paint?" he asked.

"The Black Dirt," I answered, a little sheepishly, for I knew what was coming.

He shook his head and laughed a little. "You love that Black Dirt, don't you?"

Yup, I do. I'd paint there every day for the rest of my life if I could.

For those of you who don't live in Orange County, New York, the Black Dirt region is an agricultural mecca near Pine Island and Florida, NY.

Originally, it was called "the drowned lands." Eons ago, when the glaciers melted, they left an enormous, shallow lake here. The water receded gradually, and plants grew and grew and grew. German, Dutch and Polish immigrants eventually drained the soil, and found it incredibly rich with nutrients.

When we lived in Idaho, we'd see farmers burn the fields in the fall, to add nitrogen to the soil. The first time I drove through the Black Dirt, I thought that that was what I was seeing. The soil is absolutely black, as rich as any soil anywhere in the world.

Half of the onions grown in New York are grown in the Black Dirt. Many of the farmers who bring their produce to New York City to sell lease space in the Black Dirt. Lettuce, radishes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, pumpkins, you name it, it's grown here.

Of Ears and a Nose

Black Dirt, Looking South. Oil on stretched canvas, 16x20


Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

As I stood beside the road, painting, I began to imagine that I could smell corn. The sweet, soft, milky smell filled my nose, swept into my lungs, pushed the sense of spring and summer out to my heart, and my fingers and my toes. But no, I thought. It is too early for corn. And, hard as I looked, I saw none.

When my mother was alive, she delighted in sweet corn. A couple times every summer, we'd have whole dinners of sweet corn and tomatoes. Mom would boil an absurd amount of corn, heap it on a platter, and we would slather the ears with butter and salt and pepper, and the cobs would pile up and we'd eat until we couldn't stuff in any more.

But quintessential Mom is this: Time and again, summer after summer, she would pull the car over beside a cornfield, jump out, sneak to the edge of a field and take a couple ears of corn. She'd get back in the car, and we would shuck and eat those ears, reveling in their raw sweetness.

I was finishing my second painting of the day yesterday when the farmhands began to leave the fields. First, two carloads of them. Then came a truck loaded with... crates of corn. My nose had not been wrong after all. The smell of raw, fresh corn trailed after the truck and made me smile, remembering.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Lovely Spot

Benedict Park. Oil on stretched canvas

It's good to be back in Orange County. It's beautiful here, in a completely different way than where we live in Connecticut. It's wilder here, with mountains and fast rivers, lots of woods and a different kind of wind than you get near the ocean.

Our little house here is cool and shady in its riverside cathedral of trees. There has been some flooding - it rained nearly every day in June - but nothing catastrophic. The vegetation is undisturbed, the river sparkling and not too high, and if you didn't know there had been flooding, you'd never be able to tell.

I'm of such a mixed mind about our house here. Three potential sales have fallen through, and with each, I've felt sad, frustrated and angry - and also happy. It's nice to be able to stay here, with the sound of the river, and the tree frogs and the ducks and far-off coyotes. I know, too, that the market is going to recover at some point, and that that means a better price for our house.

But we owe money on it, and the taxes keep rising, and having the sales price in our bank account would make life so much easier.

So if you know anyone who would like a simple little house on a beautiful river, let me know. The first time a dry fly was cast in America, it was into the Neversink. There's still good fishing in our lovely river. There's great canoeing and rafting, and there's nothing more cooling on a steamy day than a swim in the clean water of the Neversink. There's wildlife year-round, wood ducks and mallards, egrets and herons, owls and hawks and eagles. There are fireflies and dragonflies and an army of hummingbirds.

Yes, the river floods from time to time, but on days like this, it seems a small price to pay for such wealth.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painting in the Park

Benedict Park
Oil on stretched canvas, 10x10

Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

Benedict Park, in Montgomery, NY, is one of my favorite places in the world to paint. It's a beautiful park with the Wallkill River running through, past hills and valleys, pathways and forests and open fields, filled with flowers now in the early summer.

One of the last times I painted there was with the marvelous painter Gene Bove, who gave me my first lessons in oil painting and has continued to be an inspiration and a friend. Check out his website! We had a wonderful time painting, that autumn day, while people drove and walked, kayaked and ran with their dogs all over the park.

Yesterday, I went hesitantly to the park, figuring it would be filled with Fourth of July picknickers.

But I was alone.

So I stood on top of a hillside, and painted in the sun and the wind and the quiet of a solitary holiday, and I thought about a lot of things, including how lucky I am to be an American, and to have the chance to carve out this life.

Thanks for reading! And happy Independence.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Sun

Rhode Island Path. Oil on stretched canvas. sold

What you can't really tell from this picture is that I made this painting on top of another painting with lots and lots of paint on it.

Surely, I should have sanded down the original painting, but I didn't. I just dragged and smeared and pushed the new paint over the bumps and ridges, and honestly, I like the effect.

In addition, this lazy girl's recycling process ensures that I can't be too detailed, can't get too absorbed in the little stuff. So it's all part of the palette knife mindset I'm working to learn.

I really like this painting. I like the bright clearing at the end of the path, and the way the light falls in sparkly bits through the deep blue shade.

Thanks for reading!

Tall Pines

Tall Pines, Groton Reservoir. Oil on stretched canvas. sold

I've been looking at these tall pines ever since I found the shortcut to downtown Groton. They tower over the reservoir, dark and alluring. They are a little more massive than what I've painted here, a little more foreboding.

Still, I like this painting, which I did about 99 percent with the palette knife. The fact that the trees have a slightly different feel, a slightly darker aura than what I've painted, well, that's fine. It gives me gold to mine again, on another day.

That's one of the best things about painting. There's no end to the iterations and efforts I can make. Even if I were to set out to paint this exact same image, it wouldn't end up looking the same. I love the variability, the random differences, so much like life, and yet, so contained.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another Blue Morning

Another Blue Morning
Oil on stretched canvas, 16x20


Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

In the monsoon that moved in yesterday afternoon, I headed to the basement with my palette knives. I took another stab at a painting I've already done with brushes, a painting of the back field here, early in the morning.

The light is just coming over the shortest trees, and the field right in front of me is blue with shadow and dew and a fringe of grasses, which I turned into more flowery vegetation. Everybody needs more flowers in their lives!

I'm beginning to get the idea of the palette knife. I'm wrapping my head and eyes around this new way of looking, and I'm enjoying it. The challenge for me is to make these pieces detailed enough to define themselves, while retaining the broad strokes and big shapes that so engage me.

My brother, Rand Cooper, (check out his delightful blog on the ups and downs of being an older parent) wrote to me about the difficulty of finding this balance and how he, as a writer, tends to pile detail upon detail until, sometimes, he passes the point of boldness and uses revision to take things out.

I can scrape things off, for sure, but one of my big goals in all of this is to see in those big, bold shapes. This is going to help me, no matter what kind of art I'm making.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Horizon

Waterford Beach
Oil on stretched canvas, 11x14


Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

Having fallen absolutely in love with the work of Judy Mackey (check out her website and her blog), I have set out to learn to use the palette knife.

Judy has given me tips and guidance, and I am grateful. I had a plein-air class this past summer with master palette-knifer Bruce Thorne of the Wallkill River School. I've made a few palette-knife paintings, but I've never really set my focus on painting this way.

I am beginning to realize that there's a different thinking process, a different seeing process, really, involved in painting with the knife. It's broad, and inclusive, and forces the artist to see in shapes and values, the broad scops rather than the details.

This painting has some of that vision, but I dragged myself into too much detail. Probably used too small a knife, compensating for my lack of control.

It's a new challenge, and I can already tell that it's going to shape my view of the world.

Thanks for reading!


Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home Oil on board, 8x16, $125 including shipping sold One of the things I love about the palette knife is direction...