Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hay Bales III

Parkway Series #203  12 x 16   oil     Sold

The geometric shapes in this painting add to the interest.  Triangles crisscross the background as the hay bales form circles in the foreground.  The simplicity of the composition and the value patterns make this a successful painting.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hay Bales II

Parkway Series #202   12 x 16   oil   SOLD

After turning out 202 paintings very quickly, I am beginning to look forward to slowing down and working on something a bit longer!  These quick "impressions" are great studies and a valuable experience but I do get frustrated sometimes when I have to post one that I feel is not quite finished!  My daily painting is projected to end in September and at that time I will take a few weeks off and then continue to paint maybe three a week instead of five.  I will be setting goals because I have learned that as a artist I have to have a plan in place in order to accomplish anything.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hay Bales

Parkway Series #201   12 x 16   oil    sold

Inspired by Monet's "Haystacks", I have attempted a series of hay bales!  I found a field of them just south of 460; however these simple shapes are not as simple to paint as I had imagined.  Even so, the composition was fun to play around with.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fallingwater Cascades V

Parkway Series #200 12 x 16   oil   Sold

This is the last of the Fallingwater Cascades series and  my favorite of the whole Parkway series. Using correct color values is important to achieving spacial depth and a sense of reality.  In this painting, I believe I was successful in blending truth and abstract design into one.  There is an essence of space and light but up close the color and shapes and brushwork are very abstract.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fallingwater Cascades IV

Parkway Series #199  12 x 16   oil    $95.

Old and new, life and death seem to be portrayed in this close up of the scene I posted on Tuesday. (#197)   This contrast even caught my attention as a child.  I remember swampy areas near the Rappahannock River where the old rotten trees stuck out of the mud surrounded by lush green vegetation.  My paintings are more than a representation of the area; many of them are expressions of who I am and how I see life. Most people write the book and then illustrate it.   Maybe one of these days I will write the book that goes with these paintings!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fallingwater Cascades III

Parkway Series #198   12 x 16   oil   Sold

The trail to the cascades is a loop with a bridge at the top and a bridge at the bottom.  This is the first bridge at the top and the hike is straight down from this point - beautiful and shady and we really needed the shade with 90 degree temps and 90 degree humidity!!!  It felt more like a rain forest!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fallingwater Cascades II

Parkway Series #197  12 x 16   oil   Sold

Another scene from the hike last weekend shows the bottom of the creek leading away from the waterfall and looking west at the distant mountains.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fallingwater Cascades

Parkway Series #196  12 x 16  oil,     Sold

This weeks paintings document my hike to Fallingwater Cascades just north of the Peaks of Otter.  It is a fabulously beautiful hike but I would not recommend it until the weather cools off in the fall.  The hike down to the falls is moderate but the hike back up is really hard in 90 degree weather.  Those of you who do not like snakes would also cringe at the number and variety who slither across the narrow path and who live in the dead, wet tree trunks along the edge of the water.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Treasures of Life and Art

Parkway Series # 195  12 x 16  oil   Sold

The most enduring wisdom of nature's University is that life changes.  The scenes, here, at Rakes Mill Pond change daily because nature is alive.  I find new treasures of life and art with every journey on the Parkway. 
                   "Day to day pours forth speech, Night to night declares knowledge."  Psalm 19:2

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My University

Parkway Series # 194  12 x 16  oil   Sold    prints now available

G.W. Carver could hear wisdom from the flowers.  John Muir could read scripture embedded in the bluffs.  Those who are attuned to nonphysical wisdom see the "Universe" as "The University" ..... interesting thoughts from Lisa Field in her column Field Notes.  I believe that through creation/nature there is a connection  with the One who is beyond the human condition, who imparts Wisdom to those who will listen.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ancient Beauty

Parkway Series # 193  12 x 18   oil   SOLD
                                          "O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new."    Augustine

This rock sits on the right of the Parkway overlooking southwest Roanoke county/Bent Mountain area.  I wonder how many people have climbed to the top to sit and soak in the beauty of the landscape below.  A turtle climbed under a ledge of this rock as I began to take photos; as he posed for his photo, he seemed to agree with my delight in the rock.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Barn Stories

Parkway Series #192  12 x 16  oil     Sold

As a college student, many years ago, I was given a book of Eric Sloane's Barns.  His paintings were an inspiration then as they are now.  My love of old barns is tied up in the "Story" - the story of hard work, of a time past when people lived off the land, a story of people who lived close to the earth and who had a reverance for it.  A little north of Floyd on the way back to Roanoke, this barn sits on the left side of the Parkway.  I would love to know more about the "story" of this barn.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Country Roads Take Me Home

Parkway Series #191   12 x 16   oil   Sold

I had to pick up paintings from a show at the Jacksonville Center in Floyd last week.  On the trip home, I took photos of farmhouses and barns and scenes along the Parkway.  Development seems to be encroaching closer and closer to the Parkway but some old farms were there before the Parkway was built!  This farm house reminded me of my grandparents house.  I have fond memories of the sound of whippoorwills, climbing apple trees, and finding creek creatures  all of which stir a longing for "country roads to take me home".

Friday, June 11, 2010

Capturing Memories

Parkway Series #190   12 x 16   oil   Sold    prints now available

I hope to have a Peaks of Otter bridge series, eventually, and paint this scene in the different seasons.  Capturing Sharp Top and the bridge brings back memories to many.  This is definitely one of the most beautiful places on the Parkway!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mountain Terrain

Parkway Series # 189  12 x 16   oil   $95.

I am continuing to experiment with different aspects of color. This painting is not my ordinary maximum color/contrast painting; the muted colors and low key values make it a bit different.  But, I do like the diagonal compostition that definitely gives the sense of mountain terrain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thalo Blue

Parkway Series # 188  12 x 16  oil   $95.

In painting the series of late afternoon scenes from the Peaks of Otter, I have been trying to achieve distance and atmosphere with thalo blue.  I have found this color indispensable in painting the essence of distant mountains, late afternoon shadows and reflections. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

View of Lost Mountain

Parkway Series # 187   12 x 16   oil,    SOLD

I painted this overlook from a different angle back in the fall (#39).  Many times I go back to the same location to paint the same scene in different seasons.  It is interesting that even on a daily basis, the Parkway changes with time of day, growth of vegetation, leaf colors, wild flowers etc....  As an artist, however, I am finding that I am making changes more now than I did earlier in this project.  In this interpretation of the image, I raised the distant mountains into a clearer view and I added red to the tree for more contrast to the green landscape.  Even with my changes, I want the truth of the location to show;  I want viewers to identify with their own experience on the Parkway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shape Study

Parkway Series # 186   12 x 16   oil   Sold

Interesting shapes are important to a painting.  Many times, in looking at the landscape, the detail and texture overwhelms the eye and it seems hard to simplifly the images into shapes.  I found that this scene from south of 220 was a great study for simplifying shapes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monet Revisited

Parkway Series #185   12 x 16   oil   Sold

A stroll around Abbott Lake in the late afternoon was like a treasure hunt for me.  With excitement of finding beauty everywhere, I was clicking photos as fast as the camera would allow.  This "Monet-like" reflection in the water produced an immediate sense of  "I have to paint that"!!!! and it really was a fun one to paint!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Late Afternoon Light

Parkway Series #184  12 x 16  oil    Sold

The marshy area around Abbott Lake interested me as the late afternoon light changed the water and the grass from deep blues and greens to light blues and lemon yellows.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Color Theory 101

Parkway Series #183  12 x 16  oil   sold

Juxtaposition of warm and cool colors amazingly brings depth to the flat surface of a  painting. The warm yellow greens against the cooler thalo blue really puts the pop into this scene from the Peaks of Otter.  The dark foreground against the lighter misty background also was used to push and pull the image to gain perspective.  Color theory is fascinating and as much as I know the theory, the technique and practice of it is always a challenge.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rhododendron at the Peaks II

Parkway Series #182   12 x 16   oil   Sold

This is a close-up painting of the image from yesterday's posting.   I really like the compostition of this painting.  The diagonal limbs of the tree balance the dark values on the left side and the heaviness of the large pink blosom to the left balances the light sky seen through the branches on this very large rhododendron bush.