The Winter Pond

TM9619The Winter Pond 36×54 oil on panel

Eome paintings are years in development. The initial idea seems like a good one, but the artist’s skills aren’t yet up to the challenge. The Winter Pond is one of those paintings. Every winter I worked on it, then got stuck. But today, I realized where it had to go, and how I might get there. I think the solution was partly in taking bigger risks, losing the brush, and embracing every rubber roller in my arsenal. The colors are based on my pond/swamp, and the gestures, but I took liberties with placement and angle of perception. Letting the abstract qualities dominate brought the painting closer to the feeling of the place and that cold time of year when there is some meltwater but still a lot of ice and snow. I also gained some insights into how I might tackle some larger paintings or diptychs……..the fun begins! Details below. Enjoy!

TM9619 The Winter Pond – detail from center
TM9619 The Winter Pond – detail from right side
TM9619 The Winter Pond – detail from left side

Into the Woods

TM9587 Into the Woods 7×7 oil on paper

Winter is a very abstract time – the shapes and colors of life are lost under ice and snow. I think it is this abstraction that draws me toward painting winter. I love abstract expressionism, but it isn’t innately my personality. When I choose to paint winter, I can trick my brain into thinking more abstractly. Such a treat to be able to experience that change in my way of being and seeing. I start many paintings intending them to be quite abstract, but they usually turn into some kind of view, and definitely have a sense of place. So, I keep trying.

Into the woods is clearly a place, a time, a subject. But this demure setting on a winter day in dimmed light keeps some sense of its abstract underpinnings. Often, it’s that tenuous line between abstraction and reality that is most intriguing. Enjoy.

Morning after the Blizzard

TM9595 After the Blizzard 7×7 oil on paper

The drama of blizzard gives way to the joy of sun returning, and a chance to go outside and find out what happened. I adore the subtle colors as the light returns, and the mysteries of what lies beneath the lumps of snow. Enjoy.

First Snowfall!

TM9594 Roadside Poem 7×7 oil on paper
TM9612 Early Melt 7×7 oil on paper

Last night the first snow squall of the season swept past, and while the snow didn’t linger long in Boston, the western hills look like winter. This pair of small paintings express my joy and love for the beauty of those first flakes. More to come….Enjoy.

You can see more winter paintings by hovering over the portfolio menu on my home page, and cursoring down to click on Winter paintings OR Small Landscapes, Woodlands, Small Winter Landscapes.

Meltwater Season

TM9520 Meltwater Season 36×54 oil on panel

March is a strange month – full of bluster and cold, while at the same time offering glimpses of warmth. Colors are muted, but the varieties of ice can be amazing as ponds and creeks go through cycles of freezing and thawing. Meltwater Season is mostly about the scrims of ice vying with passages of open water, ice floes below the surface, frozen bubbles and air pockets, and the frame of snow and ice retreating along the shore of this glorious in-between season. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9520 Meltware Season – detail whre shore meets pond with ice and snow

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from left side with thin ice

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from lower center with last scrim of ice over liquid water

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from upper left

Technical painting notes: I developed the painting in layers, starting with rolls of deep browns and blueish grays. These were followed by some intricate brush work to describe underlying vegetation – which was followed up with more roller work with semi-transparent paint to “bury” the details under snow and ice. Below is the painting at mid-stage in development.

Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning)

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) 30×60 oil on panel

My winter walks in the woods provide a complex feast of interlocking bare branches and tangled vines, all partially adorned with ice or snow. Painting the wild exuberance of all that rhythm can be intimidating. Studies and smaller paintings can help the process, but sometimes it’s a leap of faith that’s required. So dive I must, wielding multiple rollers and a few brushes loaded with paint. It is an invigorating way to paint. I think the result does describe the woods and season I love. Details below.

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from left side with burdened branches

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from lower right

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from lower center with snow and ice on bare branches

T9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) detail from center, top to bottom

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Notes from a Winter Trail – The Sun Came Out

TM9519 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Sun Came Out 36×42 oil on panel

This painting is all about joy when sunlight peaks through the last snow flakes. Or maybe it’s about the pleasure of hiking into the woods in February. Or both, and more. I just know painting impressions of winter is fun.  Enjoy.

Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing 36×42 oil on panel

It’s repetitious to keep saying snowfalls are magical, but there aren’t enough good synonyms. This past week I took a hike around Purgatory Chasm State Park along the Charley Loop.  Snow was still clinging to the trees from a heavy snowfall, but now the sun was out and the sparkles of snow dust in the air were spectacular. Everything looked so clean and bright, I fairly danced my way into the woods (p.s. thank you to the person who compacted the snow trail!).  I expect there will be more paintings from this hike, and another storm is on the way. It’s a good winter so far. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from upper left and center

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from lower left

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from right of center