Cooling Off

 

I’ve been playing. These 7×7″ oil paintings are from Cape Ann. They are also preparation for some new ocean views I’ll be starting soon.  Anticipation……..maybe the best part…and on some new, larger panels!

Summer Shows

SOLD TM8904 Those Pondly Ways 7×7 oil on paper

The opening reception at Greylock Gallery in Williamstown, Massachusetts went well, and I’m delighted to share the news that a number of paintings have found homes. The show, which includes large and small pondscapes and landscapes, will be up through July. Stop by if you are visiting the Berkshires

and….

TM8775 Watching the Waves Roll In 36×40 oil on panel

the Summer Show at Powers Gallery in Acton, Massachusetts continues, featuring a collection of my coastal and inland paintings. Good news from that venue as well. A dear old friend of mine, Indigenous Arithmetic #5, recently found a home. I guess you could see these stones have come to rest.

SOLD TM7715 Indigenous Arithmetic #5 24×24 oil on panel

 

Into the Woods – Joyful May

TM9005 Into the Woods – Joyful May 36×44 oil on panel

The first strokes are always the hardest, no matter that I’ve painted the subject previously. The question is how will I take everything I’ve learned and find a new way to reveal the spirit of the place. Will I focus on botanical and geological detail, or concentrate on the energy and movement, my feelings in the place? Into the Woods – Joyful May definitely takes the latter approach, and is based on the wonder and joy I felt encountering spring in one of my favorite places. The soil, what little there is, barely supports mature trees. But the trees keep growing anyway. Saplings abound, and even though the older trees are stunted in their growth, they are still beautiful and productive. The stony outcrops make walking in these woods a trick, but oh it is so worth the effort! Details below. Enjoy.

TM9005 Into the Woods – Joyful May – close-up from upper left showing various treatments of bough and branch with sky (note use of roller vs. brush and layering)

TM9005 Into the Woods – Joyful May – detail from foreground with young growth sprouting from ledgy soil

TM9005 Into the Woods – Joyful May – close-up from right of center foreground with young saplings at the field’s edge

TM9005 Into the Woods – Joyful May – close-up from center foreground

Technical painting notes: I rolled a mixture of dark browns and greens onto the panel, scraping, dabbing, and lifting the paint while it was wet, working to create a range of gestures and textures. When the base layer was dry, I started to refine the image by “pulling out” the negative shapes of sky, glazing selectively, and beginning to define he major tree forms. When the image started to tighten up, I employed a soft rubber roller to apply paint in loose patches, providing a sense of energy and movement to the trees. Additional layers of loose brushwork suggested the tumult of branches and leafy growth. Some spatter, with re-rolling and glazing, provided visual interest and, perhaps unconsciously, injected a touch of pollen.

A slightly earlier painting from another location at Purgatory Chasm, In the Heart of the Woods, depicts a portion of the gorge walk and shows why it is so difficult for trees to gain purchase in the thin soil and granite uplifts.

TM9004 In the Heart of the Woods 36×30 oil on panel

 

 

Being in the Woods

TM9002 Being in the Woods 36×54 oil on panel

As a child growing up in New England, I loved playing and walking in the woods. There were old trails to discover, swamps to muster through, and so many games to share with my cousins. I think one of our favorites was sitting on huge glacial erratics, sucking the juice out of twigs, and wondering about the native Americans who had populated these woods in the past.  With a farm up the road, there was always the  chance of an escapee to spark our imaginations. The woods filled our heads with possibilities. Thinking back on it now, I also remember the smells, all damp and green. Or sometimes warm and spicy, like the fragrant pine needles baking in the sunspots. Being in the Woods is a painting about all these memories and impressions. It is dense with life, tumult, and  glimpses of blue sky in the distance. It’s a close woods, the kind that creeps into and fills old farmland, the kind where one might find a patch of blueberries to pick, or native wintergreen, an oasis of clean air and nature’s own quiet music. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9002 Being in the Woods – detail from upper right

TM9002 Being in the Woods – detail from upper left with leaves and vines, sky beyond

TM9002 Being in the Woods – detail from right of center showing spattered base layer over-painted and over-rolled, use of scraping

Technical painting notes: I started the painting by using monoprint techniques to establish textures and the major shapes and gestures. Wet oil paint was rolled onto the surface and manipulated with rags, a silicone scraper, and splashes of solvent. I used a soft rubber roller to lay down and pick up (transfer) marks across the surface. When the base layer was dry, I used glazes to enhance the color harmony, then worked into the wet glazes with soft brushes and color to refine shapes and establish edges. More layers of glaze enriched the color. To keep the painting from becoming too tight, I used variously sized rubber rollers to make suggestions of leaves and boughs. This contributed to a sense of “openness” within the dense image, and helped to provide depth.

Summer Show at Powers Gallery

I’m pleased to announce that several of my new paintings will be featured in the Powers Gallery Summer Show, opening June 24 with a 4-7PM reception. The gallery is located at 144 Great Road in Acton, Massachusetts, in a restored landmark farmhouse. Preview below.

TM8928 After the Storms 36×54 oil on panel

TM8996 June Morning 36×48 oil on panel

See you there!

 

Early Thaw

TM9003 Early Thaw 36×40 oil on panel

Early Thaw is a meditation on the color blue and its interaction with neutrals and the complement orange. It is also my response to a heat wave and mid-ninety degree temperatures in the studio. I needed to cool off, and what could be better than a winter painting to immerse me in a a chill?

That said, I’ve love the very last leaves that cling to branches all winter. They are papery  thin and manage to hold on through all the gales and bluster. I admire them. I see them every year, and they never disappoint, or fail to inspire me. Pale and rather ghostly in contrast to the brilliant blue sky, they always make their presence known. They add a touch of wit to the serious season. Details below. Enjoy.

TM89003 Early Thaw – detail from left and below center with dry, fluttering leaves reflected in water on ice

TM9003 Early Thaw – detail from above center with leaves, branches, and vines reflected

TM9003 Early Thaw – detail from left side

Technical painting notes: I used a soft rubber roller to apply a thin, translucent sheen of pale blue gray to the water, to suggest a hint of ice

 

Solo Show at Greylock Gallery opens July 1

TM8906 Ode to a Woodland Pond 36×60 oil on panel

I’m pleased to announce my show opening July 1 at Greylock Gallery on Spring Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. There will be a public reception Saturday July 1, 4-6pm, and I’ll be there. Several large paintings were shipped out last week, including Ode to a Woodland Pond. The gallery will also be introducing my new series of small, oil on paper pondscapes. See you! Continue reading