I’m pleased to announce that Warm Springs Gallery, in Warm Springs Virginia, will be hosting a show with nine of my (primarily pondscape) paintings. We loaded the truck Sunday afternoon, and my babies are on their way. For more information about the show or gallery, contact the gallery at 540-839-2985.
I just delivered a new group of seasonal paintings to the delightful Greylock Gallery in Williamstown, Massachusetts -If you are heading to the Berkshires, check out the new series!
Who doesn’t enjoy watching summer with its progression of blooms, all so lovely? If I had a yard, I would find a place for Wisteria, preferably gracing a porch. They are so showy and elegant. This portrait is happily based on a friend’s fabulous garden. Thank you, Chris, for sharing it with me; now I would like to share it again! Details below.
Landscape painting is about cycles, the continual return of seasons, each time different and the same. This is also true of landscape painting. Each start begins with the blank white panel, a vague idea, and hope that the image will know how it wants to grow, that I will be able to work with chance and intention to find something new in the familiar. This painting, from my favorite pond, is filled with what I see every year and the particulars of this past spring – rhythms and repetitions, naked branches, white clouds, blue skies, and a certain promise that seems like hope. Details below. Enjoy.
There are times when I can fall in love with something, not knowing what it is – like this mystery plant. Sort of like Lisianthus, a lot like Malvas, but not quite. A dear friend, who is a fabulous gardener, suggested it might be something that self-seeded and reverted to a wilder, simpler form. I like that explanation. I wish I could do the same. Details below. Enjoy.
Walking the path around the pond almost daily allows one to appreciate the small (and large) changes over time. This year the bullfrogs are thriving, croaking their little hearts out to each other in a playful syncopated chorus. Meanwhile, the smaller frogs are finding more felled trees along the water’s edge. They are taking advantage of the new habitat options, sunning themselves on the branches that skim the pond – at least until they feel my footsteps and they plop! plop! plop! back into the water. It pains me to see so many mature trees succumbing to the fierce storms we’ve had this past year, but at least here at the pond the newly renovated habitat has helped some of my little friends.
Distance can be good. I painted Hydrangeas on a sunny morning a few years ago, and for some reason kept it at the studio. I found it again when I was recently reorganizing, and decided it needed more life. The painting was satisfactory but lacked a sense of the life spirit of the hydrangeas – how they felt. Back on the easel. The newer version, retitled Notes from the Garden: Happy Hydrangeas, feels more real somehow. These hydrangeas are really saying Good Morning to me, and evoking my reaction of Good Morning to you too! Details below, along with the earlier version of the painting. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: When I decided to rework the painting, I started by rolling and smudging brighter blues in the sky, then rolled semi-transparent grays and green into the flowers to create more interesting surface textures, (and to obliterate my idea of what the hydrangeas looked like). With the new surface, I went back to developing the lights and contrasts in the flower heads, rolling then adding details alternately. With the flowers becoming mor interesting, I acted similarly with the leaves, using small rollers alternating with brush work. I wanted to catch a sense of abandon, the way air circulates through the plant and the plant dances with that breeze.
Flowers have personalities. Daisies seem hopeful and full of humility. Roses are elegant and, especially the famous ones, seem rarified and even haughty. But the peony is just as gorgeous, sometimes even more fragrant, but also more casual. They seem careless, tossing those blossoms casually in the breeze, even leaning through their fencing to say good morning and offer a sniff to anyone who chances to pass by. I love them. Details below. Enjoy.