For me, every painting is a summation of individual, observed moments, not necessarily a static view. For instance, Let the Moments Coalesce is a combination of discreet observations taken over a few weeks in spring. The reflected reeds, papery white in color, are from the earliest spring, when snow has melted and the air starts to warm. The specks of floating duckweed arrive later, often bringing the first signs of green and yellow. Spring’s violent winds can scatter baby leaves and buds on the pond’s surface. Of course eventually leafed out trees become the main reflection. I prefer paintings that are about transitions, that explore how we see, and how what we see affects the way we record our impressions. Spring is a gentler season. It requires a gentler stroke and palette, some softening of the edges. Enjoy. Details below.
Am I becoming redundant? Maybe, but I do love the morning hours best. Maybe it’s the softer light and the sense of a fresh start. Or it could be the quiet……only the sound of water lapping the shore. This location was suggested by one of my students, and she was right – it has that morning magic. Detail below. Enjoy.
A while back I wrote of the difficulties of working with yellow: its narrow value range and high key make it the trickster of colors. And yet it is powerful, and a necessary ingredient when painting autumn.
This week I tried two more paintings in which yellow is quite dominant. Both Gilded Blue I Love You Too and Oh Joy in the Morning are about the pleasures of a brisk morning in October. Gilded Blue... has a touch of icy sheen on the sky blue reflections and the geometric shards of reflections also speak to the effects of a cold night followed by a quickly warming morning. Oh Joy in the Morning is just that – an ode to being alive and in a place I love, the woods on an October morning. The trees are brilliantly lemon yellow, yellow green, and golden. They seem to be singing – hardly a dark or deep note to be seen (except a shadowy sliver of reflection). Both paintings rely on a balance of warm and cold color, plus neutrals, to achieve harmony. Oddly, when the painting is in harmony, the painter feels harmony too. Enjoy.
As leaves fall, one can really see tree anatomy. The delicacy of crisscrossing branches and calligraphy of reflected tree trunks creates a subtle grid pattern in the pond’s mirrored surface. Late in the day, the colors are muted, as if filtered through a soft gray lens of memory. And yet a few yellow leaves cling, for a while. I thank them.
The feeling of transience when one looks into the water surrounding a lily is one subject of Lily Pond. I began it last winter, then set it aside because it was hard to remember the mood of summer when the pond was decidedly iced over. With the return of lily pads this week, and days of rain, I resumed work on the painting. The toned down palette shows the effect of overcast days, while the actual lilies were influenced by my hopeful feelings for spring and the way it can unfold so gently. Details below. Enjoy.
Ok, maybe it’s not the first nebula ever, and it definitely won’t be the last, but it is my first 24×18″ reflection nebula, and you are invited to float on by for a visit. Bands of dust and gas are partially obscuring some of the stars, and reflecting light from others, much like the clouds we see in our own atmosphere. Below is an enlarged detail from the top of the painting. Enjoy!
Is it a reflection nebula? or an orchid? Forms follow the laws of physics, whether on earth or beyond our atmosphere. Looking at some of the Hubble photographs, a familiar subject can suddenly appear . In this case, the gases thrown off by a new white dwarf star seem to describe the form and color of an orchid. Enjoy!
So many of the early constellations were named for, or inspired thoughts of, the deities. Mulling over that idea, I couldn’t help but wonder which gods were missed? or forgotten? and where were they? I considered that they might be hidden behind a reflection nebula, and that if I could look around the edge I might just find them. It worked! An entire arc of lessor gods twinkling their little hearts out. Enjoy!