Saturday, March 24, 2012

new painting

Here's a detail of a 24" x 30" oil on canvas I've been working on. It's one of the paintings from Bears Den. Since I moved back to Virginia (about a year and a half ago) I've been painting at this spot along the Appalachian Trail and points west, including the Shenandoah River.

A few years ago I noticed that my landscapes were generally wide open spaces - pasture and rolling hills. Painting from inside the forest was a challenge to me. I hike often, and after some time on the trail I became aware of what you might call, walking meditation, perhaps a second wind. The body is in sync with the breath, the first thoughts to bombard your conscious in a quite moment have passed, and instead of looking AT things, I'm seeing a lot at once.  From the undergrowth and mess of trees an organization emerges. 

How to tackle the "busyness" and wild, without creating a complete mess, became my challenge. I've enjoyed the balancing act of the forestscapes and return to them to switch things up between sculptures.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Painter Who Loved Chickens - a Book Suggestion

We just checked out a lovely children's book from our local library, one that earns a spot on my gift book list.

The Painter Who Loves Chickens, by Olivier Dunrea is the story of a painter who lives in the city yet dreams of living on a farm with the animals he loves. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and full of fun details. As a 4-H poultry club Mom, I appreciate the accurate breed paintings opposite each full page illustration.

There once lived a man who loved chickens - very much. He made his home in the city, but he dreams of living on a farm. And on his farm he would have chickens, lots of chickens....

Sure, I'm a painter who loves chickens, but I promise you don't have to be to fall in love with this book.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Inside the Box (The Artists' Gallery Annual Box Show )

An invitation to participate in The Artists' Gallery annual box show got me experimenting "inside the box". My invitation came with a 6 inch pine box that I could work with in any way I wished. This is an image of the first day.

When I saw the box I thought about shelter. I went about recreating(at 50% scale) an earlier sculpture that was about a different type of shelter. I've been curious about placing the paper people inside a structure - this gave me the opportunity to play around with that idea.

Well, it was a busy week around here and I didn't finish painting my outer walls. I missed the deadline by about 12 hours, but I'm thankful for the nudge to try something new. I look forward to doing it again next year.


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