There are days when all I want is to watch the waves roll in – the hypnotic sequence of ever-changing movement soothes the spirit in troubled times. There are other times when I want to revisit those wave-filled days by painting them. The action of painting the waves, pulling their forms from a loosely gestured background, requires a degree of focus that eliminates everything else that might be happening around me. It offers another kind of solitude – part intellectual, part intuitive. To paint the wave I have to pretend to be the water, rising as the shore comes to meet me, then slipping across the undulations of sand in lace-like patterns. It is the imagination meeting gravity and the physics of water – such a delightful intersection to inhabit. Enjoy.
Opening for the month of February is my solo show at Artana Gallery in Naples, Florida. The show is all about water, both salty and fresh, with a mix of seascapes and pondscapes. Check it out at http://artanagallery.com/events.html
I looked up bamboo in Wikipedia, and found that this versatile, woody grass could be used for construction, textiles, eaten, and even has a medicinal use. I didn’t see it listed as a subject for artists, or any mention of its calligraphic potential. And yet, bamboo has been a subject of art for over a thousand years – infinitely interpreted and exquisitely rendered. So much history; so much intimidation! So I humbly present my own Ode to a Bamboo Grove for your perusal. Enjoy.
Like recent years, this winter has gone back and forth between bright snows, deep cold, and short thaws. Down by the Beaver Dam is from a recent walk after heavy rainfall, one that cleared away most of the snow. I thought the overwhelming gray and brown would be depressing, but then I found this one patch of ochery winter grass and a spot of blue – that was it – the next subject. Of course the following day it snowed again, a gentle, frothy snow that cleaned everything up, at least temporarily, resulting in Winter Walk to the Pond.
Watching a Breeze Unfold #2, now it’s becoming a series. The city planted some young trees in front of Fenway Studios, and I am fortunate to have one in front of my studio. For two years I’ve had the pleasure of watching my tree grow, and worrying for its health in high winds. Watching the branches toss and sway may have contributed to this painting, which continues the theme of movement. Good luck little tree. I look forward to seeing your leaves again come spring. Enjoy. Details below.
Technical painting notes: I used a soft rubber roller for much of the paint application.
I think it must be a universal yearning, the anticipation of spring. It usually sneaks up on me in mid-February after another big snow storm. This time, that desire jumped straight in to my painting. Overhanging branches beside a local creek provided the forms for the painting, but as it evolved the palette kept lightening and brightening, until the mood was clearly sunshine and spring. Even the gestures in the paint seemed ready to jump for joy. Working with brush and rollers again, I followed those impulses, curious where they would lead me. Details below. Enjoy.
Some paintings seem to emerge. and it’s not until they are finished that you begin to realize what happened. Ode to an Early Snow is one of those paintings. The inspiration was a walk in the woods after an early snowfall. Leaves were still clinging to many trees, and their russet tones, framed and dusted with snow, sparkled. The weave of bare branches, provided an angular counterpoint.
I started the painting with a roll-up of black, Venetian red, and burnt sienna oil paint, which was manipulated with solvent, the roller, and scrapers. The tools provided a base for further development, with strong colors and contrast. At this point, I was reminded of Jackson Pollock’s paintings, with there all over patterns and subtle color effects. I watched the painting dry for a few days, and mulled over the next step. White and blue were necessary to set the season, so I started with a brush loaded with blue, and the rest evolved quite quickly. I soon realized that the painting was a compendium of impressions from my walk through the dense undergrowth, the lower story, of my favorite woodland park. Details below. Enjoy.