Evening Poem is from late in the day, as the light is slowly disappearing. Based on the nearby Muddy River, it is a my ode to the twin necessities of solace and quiet. Details below. Enjoy.
Many of the locales I paint were once farmland. The woods are mostly young, and the margins, defined by old stone walls, are a maze of grape and bittersweet vines, raspberry canes, and wildflowers. It’s a tangle of luxuriant growth bursting with color in the fall. All of that informed Inside Autumn, my homage to the season. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I used mostly soft rubber rollers to apply the paint, beginning with a mixture of burnt siennas, umbers, and violets for the first pass. While the paint was wet, I drew into it with scrapers to establish the major branches and vines, then spritzed areas with solvent, which was rerolled to lift and soften textures and color. Some brush work to define negative areas and leaves followed. When this layer was dry, I rerolled burnt sienna over much of the surface and purposely streaked it with solvents and oil, spritzed it with solvents, and rerolled the surface. More scraping defined the tangle, along with some glazing. Using various viscosities of paint, I was able to lay down color or pick it up, revealing underlayers. When dry, I refined the color and edges with brushwork.
Late spring and early autumn share a multitude of yellows, and with that yellow comes a bold dose of sunshine and, dare I say, moments of bliss. Yellow is the color of uplift and joy. It is also a difficult color for the painter, who must find a way to mix a range of yellows without losing the clarity of the hue and its emotional impact. Ever hear of a dark yellow? Rarely, and it’s almost never happy. Hence, my Song in a Key of Yellow is about joy, the seasons, and the music of nature. Details below.
P.S. Do you ever find the bird you know is singing in a nearby tree? I rarely do, but I know he’s in there.
I ask myself (and the tree) this question: What are we experiencing? Is it the wind tossing us around? The birds chirping wildly about the joys of spring and autumn? Are we lost in the sheer joy of color and air? If I say this painting comes partly from imagination and partly from observation, will the tree agree? I hope so. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I’ve been relying more and more on my soft rubber rollers to both move the paint around and to “draw” into the paint (narrow roller from Takech). The mix of accident and intention, along with the layering of mechanical strokes and brush-made strokes adds a level of liveliness to the painting.
It’s been a crazy and trying few weeks, but I’m happy to post a new painting titled “It’s All Just Water under the Bridge.” Maybe it’s my new mantra in these covid times. Do your best then let go. I’ve been photographing water flowing under various bridges for years, but somehow I never got around to doing anything with the subject. Now the time seems right; maybe it’s the global gestalt. Whatever it is, remember to enjoy! Details below.
We all know what dark times feel like, and my city and state are in the darkest time of the pandemic. Indeed, this painting and my mood were very dark when I started it – mostly burnt umber and burnt sienna. However, as I worked I found myself letting the green tones of spring work their way in. When I got word that my mother is still progressing in her recovery from emergency surgery, the sun just poured onto the panel. I will take every moment of joy I can find. Be well. Details below.
There are so many forms of longing. I used to do a print or painting every year in late winter titled Anticipating Spring. They were about longing for warmth and color after the extremities of winter. This year is different. Winter hardly came; I’m almost still waiting for it. And spring, well, it doesn’t feel like it’s coming either. Watching spring from inside, avoiding parks because there isn’t room for enough distancing – this isn’t the way spring feels. While I was working on this pondscape, I kept looking at it upside down – the landscape was there all right, but it didn’t feel appropriate right side up. That’s how crazy everything is. Upside down feels normal. Oh well, at least the colors feel right. I saw that green yesterday, mixed in between winter’s leftover grasses and bare branches. I can still enjoy color! Details below.