Pausing Time – October

TM8520 Pausing Time - October 36x48 oil on panel

TM8520 Pausing Time – October 36×48 oil on panel

Some say a photograph captures the moment, and that’s true, but a painting can capture a series of moments across time and in one image, providing a glimpse of almost, immediate, and passing. The effect can be like slowing time. There is an opportunity to consider time’s passing, to stretch the moment and think about it again and again, over the course of days or years.

Pausing Time – October presents the height of autumn’s colors reflected in the pond. Summer is lingering with its duckweed, the reflected sky still feels warm, yet the leaves are beginning to fall and float on the current. Compositionally, the painting is a series of verticals intercut with diagonal grasses and the hint of a spiral current. The vegetation and reflections, while dense, provide ample opportunities for focus. Details below. Enjoy.

TM8520 Pausing Time - detail from middle left with floating leaves, slight riffles

TM8520 Pausing Time – detail from middle left with floating leaves, slight riffles

TM8520 Pausing Time - detail from upper right of painting showing reflections, use of scraping and monoprint techniques in layers

TM8520 Pausing Time – detail from upper right of painting showing reflections, use of scraping and monoprint techniques in layers

TM8520 Pausing Time - October - detail from bottom edge of painitng showing foreground with floating leaves and grasses, patterns of light and shade

TM8520 Pausing Time – October – detail from bottom edge of painitng showing foreground with floating leaves and grasses, patterns of light and shade

TM8520 Pausing Time - October - detail from right side of painting showing sunlit reflection, floating leaves and duckweed

TM8520 Pausing Time – October – detail from right side of painting showing sunlit reflection, floating leaves and duckweed

Poem in Green and Gold

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold 36x44 oil on panel

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold 36×44 oil on panel

Poem in Green and Gold speaks to the transitional times of the year – between spring and summer, or summer and fall, when there are beautiful tonal shifts. The colors themselves can be hard to identify, but that only adds to the sense of mystery. The slightly out-of-focus effects of pollen drifting on the surface of the pond  also calls into question just what are we seeing. Is this what the start of a blink looks like? The suggestion of reflected blue sky and passing clouds, seen between the reflections of trees and under the pollen, pine needles, and a few lazily drifting leaves, anticipates a lovely day. Enjoy.

Technical painting notes:

TM8519 Poem in Green and GOld -detail from upper left of center

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold -detail from upper left of center

The close-up detail from near the top of the painting shows the use of soft edges and a slight, semi-transparent gray glaze to suggest the pollen.

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold - detail from middle left with tree reflections, scrim of floating pollen, pine needles

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold – detail from middle left with tree reflections, scrim of floating pollen, pine needles

Floating pine needles, layered with a bit of duckweed and pollen, creates a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t effect. The  layered spattering (first layer and next-to-last) adds depth and also serves to suggest layers of life on and in the pond.

TM8519 Poem in Green and GOld - detail from right center with sky and tree reflections

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold – detail from right center with sky and tree reflections

The blue sky was intensified near the bottom to suggest the clearing weather and to contrast with the rust-colored pine needles.

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold - detail showing layered development of painting

TM8519 Poem in Green and Gold – detail showing layered development of painting

A close-up detail shows spattering and the streaked application of glaze in the first layer, followed by more glazes and, scraping away of branch reflections, and the infilling of some of the scraped marks.

 

 

Blue Days

TM8517 Blue Days 36x40 oil on panel

TM8517 Blue Days 36×40 oil on panel

Blue Days was started with the goal of painting a companion piece to “Coming and Going.” Both paintings are 36×40″, and share a horizon line. Coming and Going is all about the build-up of energy, and its continuous repetition, while Blue Days is about the release of energy. Like taking a deep breath, holding it, then letting it out slowly. The Yoga of painting. Details below. Enjoy.

TM8517 BLue Days - detail from top of wave

TM8517 BLue Days – detail from top of wave

TM8517 Blue Days - detail from slumping wave

TM8517 Blue Days – detail from slumping wave

TM8517 Blue Days - close-up of wave

TM8517 Blue Days – close-up of wave

Coming and Going

TM8515 Coming and Going 36x40 oil on panel

TM8515 Coming and Going 36×40 oil on panel

Slipping into Summer

TM8518 Slipping into Summer 30x54 oil on panel

TM8518 Slipping into Summer 30×54 oil on panel

This painting, titled Slipping into Summer, was simmering on a back burner for several months before I worked up the courage to just do it. Painting can be like that – you have an idea, but you’re not sure how to start. So you think about it and wait and wait and wait. One day it hits you – no painting was ever finished until the first stroke was applied to the whitely primed surface. So you make that first stroke and hope that everything you’ve ever learned will find its way into the making of this particular painting. Usually, it works. The painting evolves into something that is at least inspired by the original idea. In this case, the original fall scene morphed into early summer, all because there was a gorgeous fog and unseasonable temperatures one morning as I was heading to the studio. It felt so much like spring, I decided to spend the whole day sustaining that feeling. The palette shifted, but the forms remained. I also brought George, my favorite duck, back into the picture.  He, too, should be able to enjoy such a lovely morning, as should you. Details below.

TM8518 SLipping into Summer - close-up from left of center, far bank on a misty morning

TM8518 Slipping into Summer – close-up from left of center, far bank on a misty morning

TM8518 Slipping into Summer - close-up of far bank with winter-bent trees

TM8518 Slipping into Summer – close-up of far bank with winter-bent trees

TM8518 Slipping into Summer - detail with far bank and duck

TM8518 Slipping into Summer – detail with far bank and duck

Technical painting notes: The painting began with my usual monoprint techniques – rolling on the paint, “disturbing” it with plastic and solvents, re-rolling the surface, scraping in trees, etc. In this particular painting, with its abundant foliage along the far bank, I did a lot of dabbing with wrinkled plastic bags, layering on colors between glazes and layers of thinly applied “mist” to suggest tree shapes and leaves without being too specific.

Coming and Going

TM8515 Coming and Going 36x40 oil on panel

TM8515 Coming and Going 36×40 oil on panel

In all the rush, all the mad dashing about, pausing to watch the endless rhythm of waves crashing on the beach is strangely hypnotic and soothing. Perhaps it’s because each wave is different and absorbs all of our attention. Or maybe it’s the sound, the sussing of water and sand that concentrates the mind. However it works, a periodic dose of the sea is a wonderful antidote to the holiday season’s hectic pace. Relax. Enjoy.

TM8516 Coming and Going - detail from lower left

TM8516 Coming and Going – detail from lower left

The criss-crossing patterns of foam and backrush, and a touch of exposed beach, share the lower left corner of Coming and Going.

Meditation on Floating Pine Needles

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles 36x40 oil on panel

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles 36×40 oil on panel

I’ve always loved the fragrance of pine needles in the sun. I also love watching them float abstractly on the surface of the pond, the rusty color complementing the reflected blue sky as everything drifts slowly toward the outlet. I’m sure there must be a haiku about floating pine needles, but I don’t know it. So I’ve painted my own version of a visual haiku. My aim was to keep it simple, but intricate enough to earn more than a glance. I hope it captures your attention as it did mine, and offers the same restorative potential. Details below. Enjoy!

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles - detail from foreground with pine needles

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles – detail from middle ground with pine needles

TM8515 Meditation on FLoating Pine Needles - detail from upper right with reflected trees

TM8515 Meditation on FLoating Pine Needles – detail from upper right with reflected trees

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles - detail from upper left with refelcted tree trunks, duckweed

TM8515 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles – detail from upper left with refelcted tree trunks, duckweed

Technical painting notes: There were many compositional  problems to work out with this subject, but the biggest was how to create dynamic tension in a placid, extremely horizontal subject. The darker tree reflections provided one way to “connect” the top and bottom of the painting, as did the birch trunks. I also used the greenish duckweed as a counterpoint to the rust-colored needles. The sheen on the surface of the water, along with the various blues of the sky reflections and riffles helped to break up the surface and create a sense of space and distance. I repeatedly glazed the panel to enrich the colors, then used slight strokes of more opaque paint to “bring up” some of the needles.