A recent morning at the Ice Pond with it’s film of overnight ice and bare trees. It’s all so delicate, so tenuous, so poetic.
Tag Archives: Teri Malo
The Noble Grasses – Homage to the Rimpa Artists
Visiting the pond regularly, I’ve watched the slow transformation of tufted swamp grasses from green to gold to nearly a parchment color as winter takes hold. Bound by ice they have a grace and nobility about them that I admire. Perhaps my deep respect for the Japanese Rimpa artists and their gorgeous screen paintings of grasses also informs this new painting. The way these artists concentrated on nature and subjects others might consider insignificant appeals to me. Everything in nature is important. Everything has a purpose. Details below. Enjoy.
I chose to draw as well as paint the grasses for several reasons. First the aesthetic quality of line dark gray/black contrasting with color, but also I think the line drawing performs another role – that of reminding us the grasses are like a memory and a premonition of what they will be again.
Early Spring at Hamlen Woods
This local wetland has been on my mind for a good 15 years. This year it happened. Enough painting experience, a more knowledgeable eye, and the motto if not now, when? Now, I can’t wait to do more interpretations of this rich ecosystem. Details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: I started with a 4″ soft rubber roller, drawing gestures of trees and some values on the white panel. When that was dry, I glazed, then began the process of defining the major values and shapes using soft brushes and oil paint with an alkyd medium. As the work progressed, I switched back to the rollers for glazes and to soften or smudge some areas. At this point I wanted to liven things and reintroduce crisp marks, so I worked with an ebony pencil drawing into the wet paint. A few days of back and forth – brush, pencil, roller, scraping – and it was finished. Looking at the finished painting, I can see where this could lead in several directions. More views throughout the seasons, but also zooming in on different aspects and letting the paintings become more abstract. What fun!
Mornings at the Pond
A glimpse of light, an old tree – it doesn’t take much to excite the painter in me. It’s all glorious.
Early Signs of Spring
Early Signs of Spring is really about that in-between time when green shoots rising from the shallows (and some crimson branches showing signs of life) are still surrounded by the rough and scratchy vestiges of winter. When I see those little green shoots I want to sing, and thank them for returning. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: This painting evolved over time, starting as a view of the pond in this snowless winter but evolving into late winter and early spring. Something about too much gray, perhaps? I just had to add color, and after layers of rolling and drawing, the heavy impasto textures seemed to evoke the heaviness of mud and sticks, reminding me of the energy needed for green sprouts to emerge and claim their space.
The Early Days of Spring
The Early Days of Spring is a new look at my pond using new tools and a more poetic approach. I started with monoprint techniques on the panel, then switched to oil glazes and some brush work before digging in with pencil and roller. Alternating the means gave me the gentleness and mystery I wanted with just enough definition. As a student I was always intrigued by the way some artists could go back and forth between seeing as a drafter and as a painter. It has taken a while, but I’m beginning to see both ways simultaneously. What fun! Details below. Enjoy.
Pop-up show at Space 150
A trio of my spring/summer oils are on view through the end of March at Space 150 on Van Ness Street in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Lights on for viewing at night too. Stop by, or make it a destination and combine a visit with any of the nearby restaurants in our thriving community. Harbinger, seen behind the door, is below. Enjoy!
Late Winter Copse
I had a conversation recently with one of my dealers, talking about Wolf Kahn and his use of gray tones in a particular work of art from the dealer’s collection. Loving winter for its tonal complexity, I decided to paint a response to the conversation, employing mostly muted grays and black, showing the range and beauty of the restricted palette, and its ability to express the poetry of winter. I relied on a strong gestural start of black strokes and some monoprint-inspired textures, then glazed the painting when the first layer was dry. Painting into the wet glaze with brushes defined the major trunks slightly, while a dose of blue suggested the pond beyond. After that, I worked back and forth, between rolling, drawing in pencil, and refining with the brush. I wanted to capture the joy I feel in the woods and offer a salute to Wolf Kahn, who undoubtedly shared the sentiment. Details below. Enjoy.