There’s an old, small drainage canal that runs along one side of the building where my studio is located. Really narrow, very shallow. To glance at it, one might think so what? But if you really check it out daily, all sorts of wonderful things happen in it. I’ve seen frogs, turtles, and ducks. One day a great blue heron swooped in too quickly, perhaps not realizing it could get caught in all the overhanging branches and debris collected along the sides. The poor bird had to back out. But I’m fascinated by how the overhanging branches and bits of sky reflect into the water.
Breeze Please 1 & 2 explore one day’s observations from early last summer. I loved the strong blue sky and vivid leaves, but the challenge of painting chaotic, overarching branches kept eluding me. Until I took out my knife. The reductive simplification a knife provides imbued a sense of movement and abstracted the leaf forms. Finally, the painting felt like what I saw. The lush paint (achieved with a liberal dose of Liquin) has a tactile quality which makes the leaves feel closer. I’ve also been experimenting with letting the pencil drawing show through, or, conversely, drawing into the wet paint. The line vs. shape, so clearly present, adds interest and gives clues to how the painting was constructed.