Pond Edge

TM8439 Pond Edge 36x48 oil on panel

TM8439 Pond Edge 36×48 oil on panel

Daunting – that’s the word I use to describe the start of each new pondscape. It doesn’t matter how many studies I’ve done, or how many photos I’ve taken – the seemingly HUGE blank white panel always makes me shudder – until I mix up some paint, pick up my brayer and start rolling. All of a sudden the excitement of quickly filling that large space with textures and values takes over, and I am oblivious to everything else. I think most artists know the feeling – it’s why we keep coming back to the studio and starting another. Of course, after a day or two, the first flush of excitement gives way to the serious business of resolving all the problems that were “composed” during that first rush of activity.

Pond Edge began with a bang – lots of greens, bold gestures of grasses scraped out, and suggestions of dark tree trunks and reflected foliage. In fact, the result was so strong it intimidated me into two weeks of wondering what to do next. I finally just dove in again, trusting that I would figure it out eventually. The dappled light and complex layering of vegetation both above and below the surface evolved from details collected in a number of photos I took last summer. It is a painting about the pond in all its summer lushness – and about the micro worlds (above and below) that we know are there. Enjoy! Details below.

TM8439 Pond Edge - detail showing reflection of trees, floating leaves, grasses poking up through the water

TM8439 Pond Edge – detail showing reflection of trees, floating leaves, grasses poking up through the water

TM8439 Pond Edge - detail from upper left quadrant showing reflections, floating leaves, dappled light on the water

TM8439 Pond Edge – detail from upper left quadrant showing reflections, floating leaves, dappled light on the water

TM8439 Pond Edge - detail from lower left foreground, showing grasses in shallow water, reflected trees

TM8439 Pond Edge – detail from lower left foreground, showing grasses in shallow water, reflected trees

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5 thoughts on “Pond Edge

  1. Hi Teri, I want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about how you work and seeing all your wonderful paintings. I would like to ask a question. What kind of panel do you work on for these large paintings? I am working on gessobord for my small oils and I like it very much, but I am clueless about scaling up. Do you make your own panels? I also found it interesting that you use a brayer. Is that the same as a brayer used in printmaking? Thanks for any help. Best, Anita

    • Hi Anita. Thank you for your kind words. You asked about the panels and brayer – I use a soft rubber speedball brayer – just like for block printing. As for the panels, when I started I used gessoboards, but I don’t like the fragility of the corners. Utrecht makes a pretty good cradled plywood panel (unprimed) which you might want to try. Currently, I’m using mostly birch-faced hollow core doors, cut down to size and with the ends infilled by a fellow artist and panel maker. The doors are lighter than cradled masonite at the larger sizes, and will not torque or warp during the dry winter months.

      • Thank you so much for the info, Teri. What a fantastic idea using the doors… I’ve never encountered this. It certainly makes sense and I may try it. I agree that the gessobords have fragile corners. I really like the gesso base, though. I often use oil applied with kolinsky sable watercolor brushes and I love how the boards take the paint. Best, Anita

      • One more thing – I use an alkyd primer – six thin coats, lightly sanded about every other coat. It provides a velvety surface.
        Teri

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