TM8422 Inside Autumn 36×36 oil on panel
Whenever I look down into the water’s reflections, I feel as though I’m privy to the pond’s secrets, and a view that is just out of reach. Inside Autumn revisits the locale of the painting Autumn Reverie, but now the red chorus is in full voice. The duckweed is thinning, more leaves are falling, and I know the water will soon be clear and cold. Bare branches will be the only theme. And ice. And snow. I admit the soon-to-arrive blue shadows will also be a treat to paint. In the meantime, enjoy the reds!
TM8422 Inside Autumn – detail from low and left of center
TM8422 Inside Autumn – detail from lower right
TM8422 Inside Autumn – detail from upper left
Note: Fenway Studios Annual Open Studios will be November 14 & 15, 2015 at 30 Ipswich Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Hours Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm.
TM8575 Salt Marsh Afternoon 18×36 oil on panel
This quiet view of a salt marsh was “in the works” for several months. I started it last spring, worked on it some, then set it aside because I didn’t know how to finish it. The composition worked, but it didn’t have the magic. Last Saturday I visited Ogunquit, Maine and had a chance to renew my acquaintance with the coastline, breathing in the salty smells, eating seafood, walking the expansive beach, and enjoying the Marginal Way. All the way up and all the way home I kept mulling over my little marsh. With fresh impressions in mind, it was easy to adjust the colors with glazes, develop a bit more mystery in the light, and scatter some accents in the stones. I think it’s done. Enjoy.
TM8575 Salt Marsh Afternoon – detail from center
TM8575 Salt Marsh Afternoon – detail from lower right
TM8573 Treehouse Dream #1 36×54 oil on panel
I’ve been looking down and across the water of the pond for three years now, looking at the layers of reflection and the growth under and on the water. Every now and then, I’m reminded that up also offers its pleasures, especially during the transition into fall (or after a dry summer when the water levels have dropped). Treehouse Dream #1 is an example. The painting started by looking down into the water, with trees arching above me offering their reflections to the mirror below. The longer I gazed, the more I understood how Alice felt in Wonderland, her whole world turned topsy-turvy. I felt like I was in the trees, looking out from an imaginary treehouse. The same treehouse I dreamed of having when I was little. Everything is in motion, aflutter with the breeze. I inhaled the drying scent of leaves, of autumn’s sweetness with an undertone of the muddy pond below. I could have stayed in that “treehouse” all day, but since it was impossible, I decided to bring the impressions back to the studio and set them down. Now the treehouse dream can stay with me. I invite you to climb up yourself and linger. Details below.
TM8573 Treehouse Dream #1 – detail from upper right
Technical painting notes: this painting began on an alkyd-primed panel. The first layer of thinned paint was applied with a soft rubber roller, then “distressed” with a remnant of plastic shopping bag dipped in solvent. I used a silicone scraper to draw out some of the leaf shapes and branches. When this layer was dry, I applied transparent glazes and began defining negative shapes and sky. More drawing, this time with paint, elaborated on the leafy motif.
TM8573 Treehouse Dream #1 – detail from center top
The complexity of the image almost overwhelmed the general impression I wanted to create, so I used the rubber roller to thinly roll out the wet paint – almost like a glaze. I also mixed a pale, neutral gray with Liquin Impasto medium and rolled that onto the panel to subdue the color a bit and to “chain” or link passages. While it was still wet, I used the silicone scraper to draw or carve into the panel, allowing the resulting descriptive lines to contrast with the soft edges from the roller. Highlights of strong, calligraphic color kept things lively. I glazed down the values in some areas to echo the dark reflections in the water, and to add drama.
TM8573 Treehouse Dream #1 – detail from upper left corner
TM8573 Treehouse Dream #1 – detail from lower left corner
TM8574 September Morning – Wollaston 36×44 oil on panel
I like a beach in September – everyone’s back at school and work. The weather has cooled enough so that sunburns and heat are no longer an issue. I can have the whole place to myself, strolling along in jeans with my camera, absorbing the smell and sound I’ve come to love. If you want to come along to Wollaston Beach, be my guest. It will have everything you need. Enjoy. Deatils below.
TM8574 September Morning – Wollaston – detail from foreground, left of center, showing seaweed, sand, and stones
TM8574 September Morning – Wollaston – detail from lower left corner
TM8572 September’s Meditation 36×60 oil on panel
September’s Meditation is about color – or perhaps I should say it’s an excuse to immerse myself in the radiant loveliness of autumn. The painting is a view of reflections in my favorite woodland pond. The size, 36×60″, embraces the viewer’s field of vision. It invites the viewer to float into the pools of coral, gold, and orange, and let one’s attention drift away – at least for a while. Formally, I chose to eliminate much of the usual floating vegetable matter and open up the space. I also had in mind some of my favorite abstract paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, though I did not employ her stained canvas technique. Rather, I began the painting with monoprint techniques, followed by multiple layers of glaze and some delicate brushwork. I wanted the soft edges of color to echo the caressing quality of the air on a mid-September afternoon. Details below. Enjoy.
TM8572 September’s Meditaion – detail from upper right showing monoprint textures of base layer showing through multiple glazes
TM8572 September’s Mediation – detail from lower right
TM8572 September’s Mediation – detail from center
TM8571 Autumn’s Lilies 24×48 oil on panel
Painting a lily in autumn is a totally different experience compared to painting a summer lily. Suddenly, the surrounding colors are full of energy. Bright coral, golden yellows, orange – like a festival. Knowing that this last burst of energy will soon disappear also brings a feeling of poignancy to the joy of splashing those great colors on the panel. I’ll immerse myself in the color while it lasts, then enjoy the subdued violets, grays, and rusty tones of November. For now, party on! Details below, and do you see my fishy friends?
TM8571 Autumn’s Lilies – detail from right side with open lily and fish surfacing
TM8571 Autumn’s Lilies – close-up of opening lily
TM8571 Autumn’s Lilies – detail from left of center showing ripple patterns and one fish
TM8570 My Big Blue Day 36×72 diptych, oil on panel
It’s a big, blue breath of fresh air and I’m ready for the day. That’s the idea behind my newest seascape, a diptych composed of two 36×36 panels. Complications have their place and time, but this is what I want to feel each morning, a big ahhhhh…..enjoy!