Why a poem? Perhaps because to me, a poem represents the process of distilling and perfecting a thought. There is something exquisite in a well-crafted poem – every small sound and syllable fills my head with images, feelings, and a look into a world I might otherwise have missed. When a painting really works, it too can create a separate space for reflection, wonder, and joy. Small paintings can feel like haikus, distilling the world down to an essential few inches. Late Autumn Poem gives us a view of the pond’s surface when leaves float but begin to catch as a slight film of ice forms on the water’s surface. Duckweed is still present, as are the reflections of tree trunks, but all of this will change soon. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: This small oil on panel painting started with a roll-up of dark green and burnt sienna oil paint, using a soft rubber speedball brayer. The wet paint was “disturbed” using a piece of plastic wrap dipped in a mixture of stand oil and mineral spirits. Mineral spirits were splattered on the surface, then I used the brayer to re-roll the surface, softening the hard edges. I also glazed the wet surface with a roll of red oxide and the oil/solvent mixture. I used a soft paper towel to lighten some areas, then spritzed and rolled some more. When the panel was dry, I used traditional direct oil painting techniques to define the leaves. A semi-transparent light blue was brushed on with a watercolor wash brush to suggest reflected sky. Duckweed was achieved by finely spattering two greens and a blue gray color onto the surface, using a beat-up nylon watercolor brush, Liquin, and mineral spirits. A few final glazes balanced the colors.