Meditation on a Quiet Afternoon

TM9706 Meditation on a Quiet Afternoon 30×30 oil on panel

I keep saying to myself, spring will return, it will!

I think this painting from the pond in spring is my unconscious trying to warm me up. The beavers will find many downed trees and limbs for their lodge improvement plans. While the temperatures have been mostly warmish, the trees took a beating with the high winds and flooding wetlands. Detail below. Stay warm!

TM9706 Meditation on a Quiet Afternoon – detail from center

Ode to the Dark Days

TM9704 Ode to the Dark Days 36×36 oil on panel

Winter is, to me, a glorious season. I love the starkness of it – brilliant blues, eye-watering whites, and tiny spots of red or dark green that sing out against the cold. This year, there has been so little snow in Boston and environs that I’ve had to hunt for that joy in the multitude of grays that surround me. Ode to the Dark Days is based on the woods and ponds I pass on my way to the studio each day. Layers of brush, bramble, and buckthorn surround the swamps and ponds, while the higher ground claims its share of oaks, ironwood trees, pine, and hemlock. This painting is a compilation from the area around one of the ponds. It is also a compilation in the physical sense, with layers of impasto standing in for the detritus of a season uncovered by snow – leaves, acorns, bare branches, etc. Quiet, maybe somber, but it still tells the story of this place on which I so depend, and the story of an endangered season. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9704 Ode to the Dark Days – detail from upper right
TM9704 Ode to the Dark Days – detail from left side
TM9704 Ode to the Dark Days – detail from upper left
TM9704 Ode to the Dark Days – detail from left of center showing impasto and pencil

Notes from a Pondly Afternoon

TM9702 Notes from a Pndly Afternoon 36×36 oil and pencil on panel

Playing with new ideas for how to describe the landscape, and my favorite pond environment in particular. The small 7×7″ studies in oil and pencil are growing up, and I’m enjoying the liberation of drawing and painting at the same time. The layers of pencil, roller, and brush strokes show the thinking process behind the painting and feel more expressionistic. The 36×36 panels are starting to feel small again! I’m loving it! Details below. Enjoy.

TM9702 Notes from a Pondly Afternoon – detail from center top edge
TM9702 Notes from a Pondly Afternoon – detail from center
TM9702 Notes from a Pondly Afternoon – detail from lower left of center

Study from the Ice Pond #2

TM9700 Study from the Ice Pond #2 7×7 oil on paper

With all the melting and refreezing, it’s a strange winter. The ice pond continues to fascinate me, however, with its always changing patterns and configurations. Who would guess that a little bit of grass, mud, water and ice could be so intriguing?

Sanctuary #6 – Early Summer at the Pond

TM9698 Sanctuary #6 – Early Summer at the Pond 24×36 oil on panel

A request from Powers Gallery in Acton, Massachusetts was the impetus for this early summer view of my dear pond. The small nesting box at the center of the painting tells you someone really cares. There used to be a few of these boxes on stilts, but a few have fallen. We need someone with a rowboat and someone with a shop to help build more homes and install them. The location is Hamlen Woods in Wayland, a town-owned conservation area.

Study from the Ice Pond #1

TM9699 Study from the Ice Pond #1 7×7 oil on paper

I was so excited to see the temperatures drop for a bit, giving me a chance to do some new studies from the Ice Pond. The exceptionally warm winter weather makes me feel like I’m painting endangered seasons, and I am! So, so sad.

Late Autumn by the Pond

TM9697 Late Autumn by the Pond 36×36 oil on panel

Sometimes the paintings feel more like weavings then pictures. In this case, the reflected image in a late autumn pond offers layers of interlocking leaves, branches, the last duckweed, floating leaves, and a soft blue-gray sky. The pattern on pattern on pattern is an exercise in patience, while the act of painting remains a wonderfully meditative process. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9697 Late Autumn by the Pond – detail from center top
TM9697 Late Autumn by the Pond – detail from upper edge showing use of pencil, brush, and roller
TM9697 Late Autumn by the Pond – detail from lower center
TM9697 Late Autumn by the Pond – detail from left side