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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Study in the Garden

Garden Study-Black-eyed Susans, 12x9, oil on panel
This painting was started on a recent gray overcast day, which gives you a lot of flat light. I did not have to fight with light and shadow everywhere although there was lots of ambient light. I painted right through the rain shower but then the sun came out and that changed everything. I finished this little piece in the studio. I was trying to capture the happy buoyancy of black-eyed Susans in the garden. The red Maltese crosses were on their way out but I thought they added a nice spark of color and the purple salvia tied in with the reflected blue light on the leaves. I don't paint outside near enough anymore. It does feel good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Roof Line Jumble - Semur, France

Zigzag of Roof lines, 24x30, oil on panel, Day One
Day 2 photo taken on my easel (blue tone)

Day 3

Here is the other painting I started the day I blocked in Jersey Shore. This painting has been on my "to do" list for years. Every time I think I want to start on it, I would talk myself out of it. Full  of conflicting ideas of how I wanted to paint it. This is not normal for me. I had painted another smaller painting from this town which I think is the root of this discord. After all these years I still had not settled these questions in my mind. The problem is a made up problem, as so many problems are. So for this particular painting, on this particular day, after doing a couple of drawings I decided to go with my normal style of painting. BUT I do want to do another version of it after I finish this painting and try to do it totally different. I won't say "have fun with it" as truly, I am having fun with it going in the direction I chose to go with.

This is the town of Semur en Auxois in the Burgundy region of France. It is a medieval walled town built on a hill, of course!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jersey Shore Fellowship

Fellowship, 24x24, oil on board

Since I have spent the summer working on older paintings to bring them new life, I decided a few weeks ago it was time to start something new. I began two new paintings in one day. I am always excited by the prospect of a new start! This one was the easier of the two although sometimes it is harder to be successful with a simple subject than when there is more going on in the scene. The reference photo was taken when I went to the Jersey Shore the year after Hurricane Sandy (last year). It is the first painting I have done from that trip back East; hopefully one of many. I spent two days in NYC; one day exploring the city on my own, and the other at the Brooklyn Museum of Art to see the amazing John Singer Sargent show and then the Botanic Gardens next door. I was there in April and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. And then I had one day walking the beach and eating seafood! Being landlocked now and having spent my very early years going to the Jersey Shore, I think adds to my love of beaches. I seem to be doing my share of around the world beach scenes lately. Walking the beach just begs contemplation and washing troubles away. Even looking at this painting helps me remember to let the wind take my cares away.

No need to spell it out, but this painting is using light and shadow as the visual approach. Any title suggestions are always welcome.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Interesting Interlude

I knew I had been gone awhile but had not realized it was a month already. Not to make excuses, but first I damaged my rotator cuff, then shingles developed on the same arm and this 10 days before my son arrived from Japan for an 8 day visit. In other words, life just took over. I will get back into mode here shortly, but for now I wanted to share the fact that I met a young man today whom I think will go far. He contacted me via my website just about the time all the aforementioned was going on. He introduced himself as being of Indian descent but growing up in Dubai and studying art at Cornell University in NYC. He would be in Denver visiting relatives for two weeks, arriving the day my son left. He wanted to talk to me about life as an artist if I would be willing to meet up with him for coffee. Truthfully, I did not need one more thing to do this week still not fully recovered from a compromised immune system and out of town visitors. But my curiosity got the best of me so I agreed to meet him. He was such a nice young man, I am glad I did. He is not afraid to ask questions, has already been to the arts district on Santa Fe and RiNo talking to artists and gallery owners. He says he is looking for the side of art that the schools do not address. He wants to be a famous artist, and with his personality, he just might succeed! I certainly could not give him any words of wisdom on that one! When I looked him up online, I found he had done a TED talk at the age of 16 on Pluralism. Not the average topic for a 16 year old.