A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring has arrived at the SAG Gallery 4 '14

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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Painting at CAG Gallery 4'14

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

CAG sells another of my paintings 4 '14

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

Passover Seder Mini Series, Continued. 4 '14

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

BJ''s Seder Paintings 4"14

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

Happy Easter 4 '14

7" x 5" oil

Happy Easter, Everyone, from out home to yours.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Passover 4 '14

5" x 7" oil
Across the miles... sending you wishes, from our home to yours, for a
 Joyous, Peaceful, & Happy Passover

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What are those pink flowers? 4 '14

  "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.
Azaleas and Dogwood  at Pawleys
 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

Forsythia 4 '14

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

On my Easel 4'14

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.