All my new Spring Series paintings went on display today at the Seacoast Artists Guild Gallery at the Market Common. I really like how well they looked as a set.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
|Goose at Swan Lake|
Last week, The Charleston Artists Guild sold one of my wildlife paintings. Today I took a painting in to fill the space on my wall. It is a 9" x 12" oil of a Canadian Goose sitting on a Cypress Tree root. It has always been one of my favorites in my wildlife series. First of all, because it is actually the first wildlife I ever attempted in South Carolina, and second because I love the story behind it.
Swan Lake Iris Gardens is a County Park in Sumter ,South Carolina. It is famous not only for its beautiful Japanese Iris which grow throughout the cypress swamp but for being home to all eight of the world's swan species. I timed my first visit to the Park with what should have been the peak of iris bloom. Ironically, there was barely an iris blossom to be seen any where in the park. Eventually I found out why. All the swans were nesting in the iris patches. Every so often one would lift its neck up and munch on the tender buds of what would have been an Iris flower. The only blooming Iris I found that day were by this one goose. Presumably, it too had build a nest nearby, and was protecting it from the swans, which allowed the Iris a chance to blossom.
|My Wildlife Series at CAG Gallery|
In any case, my 'Goose at Swan Lake' looks mighty fine amidst my other wildlife painting at the Charleston Guild Artists Gallery
Friday, April 25, 2014
|Great White Hunter 8" x 12" Oil|
Thank you , Charleston Artists Guild Gallery for finding a good home for my painting of the
"Great White Hunter"
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
As a follow on to yesterday's post, I did in fact finish the two last minis for the Passover Series of the ingredients for a Seder Plate
|Charoset ( 5" x 7" Oil|
Above is my portrayal of some of the ingredients that go into Charoset ( honey, apple, dates and nuts)
And below is the shank bone(s)
|Seder Shank Bones ( 7" x 5" oil)|
I am very goal oriented, and sometimes I find it hard to let go. My head kept telling me that Passover was over, and I should put this project aside until next year, but my heart would not let me do it. This is one time I am very glad I followed my heart.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Several years ago, I decided to painted a 7"x5" miniature oil painting of a Halloween pumpkin as a warm up exercise. I thought it would make a nice table top decoration for the holiday, and without the pressure to create something "salable", I wouldn't get frustrated if it wasn't 'a masterpiece'. The exercise proved to be such an effective way to get the creative juices flowing that I soon had a sizable collection of miniature paintings based around a holiday theme. They aren't for sale. We just use them to make each holiday a bit more personal with some one of a kind art.
|7" x 5" oil "Matzo"|
This year I decided to do an entire Passover series for Bruce based around the ingredients on a Seder Plate
|7" x 5" oil "Horseradish"|
It proved to be a lot of fun
|7" x 5" oil "Parsley and Salted Water"|
Some came out better than other, and a some may get painted in a different composition again next year
|7" x 5" oil "Egg and Salt"|
A couple of the ingredients , like the shank bone and the charoset, are proving to be so difficult their canvases that may not get completed by the end of this Passover (The Passover holiday ends tonight)
|5 " X 7" oil painting of "Wine and Elijah's Cup"|
The beauty of this project is that it doesn't matter. Since there is now gallery or art show deadline looming, The deadline is strictly in my head. I can always work on finishing the set next year.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
"What are those pink flowers?" a friend from the West coast wrote. "They're azaleas", I wrote back... but wait I thought... I don't know if she will believe that answer. It's a good question to keep in mind when one is attempting to paint a scene the viewer might never have experienced. I grew up in the wide open ( but arid) spaces of the west coast myself. A large azalea on the west coast might reach two foot tall and three foot wide. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I might have suspected that the profusion of vegetation was a bit overstated if not outright fabricated. Let me assure you, it is neither.
|Small Part of Brookgreen Gardens' Pine forest in Spring|
The sheer size of the flowering plants in Spring can be overwhelming. In the older established gardens, the azaleas can reach twenty feet, and the flowering trees are taller.
The photo below will give you some sense of the heights... They dwarf me.
|CC with azaleas at Magnolia Gardens|
And they are everywhere
|Magnolia Gardens path|
There are acres and acres of woodland paths and walks like these at at Magnolia Gardens and Brookgreen Gardens
|Brookgreen Gardens walkway|
Even personal gardens are a mass of blooms.
It can all be a bit overwhelming. The sheer profusion makes it hard to know what to focus upon, much less even get a clean photo of it.. Painting the scene becomes an exercise in deciding on what is the center of interest, and trying to remove anything in the scene that might distract the viewers' focus.
|Brookgreen Garden's Gate|
The photo above shows the garden gate where I painted the scene below. ( en plein air not from the reference photo). Far from being overstated, I actually had to subdue a lot of color and edit out many shapes to keep the painting from seeming cluttered and even garish.
|My painting of "The Garden Gate"|
Maybe that is why so few artists tackle full blown flower filled Spring landscapes. They require hard mental work and are very tricky to pull off well.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The forsythia bush at the edge of the Pawleys Plantation putting green is in full bloom. It is so beautiful when it is back lit. I couldn't resist trying to capture it on canvas.
Monday, April 7, 2014
It's been a cold wet winter, made even more depressing by the passing of several loved ones.. As always, I have turned to painting the beauty of nature for comfort.
At first I had to look for it... At the End of January the skies were gray, the ground wet, and the grasses and most trees still dormant, but here and there a shrub would burst into bloom reminding me that life does goes on.
By the end of February the grasses were greening , the Flowering Pears were starting to bloom and spring bulbs were starting to appear.
These were followed by the more colorful peach and cherry trees.
And now everywhere I look there are massive displays of joy in being alive.
While my heart is still heavy with loss, but the act of documenting all this youthful exuberance has been teaching me a good lesson. Life is a process, not a single event, and one should appreciate each and every moment with the people and the beauty they bring into our lives.