20 December 2014

Winter Solstice Eve

winter pond

snow fields

New England Barn

snow rose

North Canton Horse Farm

winter passion

Blessings on this eve
of Winter Solstice

29 November 2014

Remnants Series

a fiddling kind of day -- 

bits and pieces, remnants 

of old paintings, 

trashed fabrics from unfinished 


building a collage 

is a bit like gardening. 

you dig, 


snip and prune until 

what is before you pleases, 

affirms -- 

or perhaps more

like daydreaming,


thoughts flow,

like water and

memories surface --

only to submerge

when within 




04 October 2014

What's on the Horizon?

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. My bad, but summer is a tough time. Life just seems to gravitate to the outdoors, and I'm reluctant to come inside and sit in front of my computer and scanner and post images, thoughts, etc. 

But as the light begins to shift and autumn starts to roll in, to come inside -- especially on a day when it's drizzly and damp -- is not such a chore, is it? So as I started to sort and re-organize my space for the 'indoor season' I found some works from last winter, still resting on the easels, waiting patiently for me to notice them. 

Your works do become a kind of family, images filled with memories of contentment or frustration, eagerness, curiosity and yes, sometimes anger. However, I have good memories of these two -- both started out as something else; both were re-worked over other 'failures' with oil, cold wax (Dorlands) and bits of pastel (Sennelier).

Horizon1 (detail) (oil, wax, pastel; 10"x24")

There's something about the horizon line and bodies of water that intrigue me, whether I'm on the Cape or traveling through the farmlands of New England. These past weeks I pass field upon field of corn mowed down and bundled into rolled stacks, not unlike Monet's "Haystacks." 

As the late afternoon sunlight moves across the land, it is breathtaking. You want to slam on the brakes and capture the shadows and light, the dimming colors of hay and pine against cloud-laden skies.
Horizon2 (detail) (oil, wax, pastel; 10"x24")

These are partial scans of the larger work, too big to scan as a whole.  Each measures 10" x 24" and is painted on a birch panel, which I love more and more as I work on them.  They take a good deal of abuse, as I tend to use brayers rather than brushes, continually applying bits of paper toweling to remove paint, then add another layer, remove, add. During this process I also use the edge of the brayers to create marks that then reveal the layers below, a kind of construction/deconstruction process, and the panels hold up well.

I hope to continue this "Horizon" series on panels of varying sizes. I've always wanted to do a triptych or diptych, and I think the birch panels would work as you could clamp or screw the panels together.  One more note on this process:  depending on what brand toweling you use (or napkins), the brayer will often pick up the pattern ever so slightly, which makes for another layer of texture -- pretty cool!

We are enveloped and drenched in the marvelous, but we do not see. 

10 August 2014

Seasons of Light

Does the season dictate what we paint?  Or is it the play of light and shadow?  Or both?   These are small sketches I did over the past year -- some were painted in the winter/early spring in my travels up through Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire --  

Late Sun on Snowfields (mixed media; 8"x10")

Distant Mountains (mixed media; 8" x10")

While these were painted earlier this summer at the Cape --

Sand Dunes and Marshes (watercolor; 5" x7")

Cape Light (watercolor; 5" x 7")

Tracking the Sun (watercolor; 5" x 7")

Why landscapes and at other times abstracts?  I'm beginning to think that it may have much to do with the light.  In the winter and autumn, the light plays across the land, catching out colors and contours.  While in the summer, one often can't even see the land because your sight is overwhelmed with the intense light and the heat waves shimmering off the surfaces of water, sand and marshes.

Now I'm watching the late afternoon skies more often, noting the lowness of the sun, the cast of shadows stretching just a bit more across the gardens and lawns.  Temperatures have dropped at dusk and there's the need for a sweater or light jacket.

We have moved from the pastels of spring to the intense yellows and reds of late summer.  In a few weeks, the persimmons and ambers of autumn will take their place, along with the smell of woodsmoke and hot cocoa.  

But for now I'll take what I see, shift my toes in the cool grass and sip at a glass of chilled white wine while I splatter paints across the blank white page . . . 

In nature, light creates the color. In the picture,
color creates the light. 
Hans Hofmann 

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