Friday, May 29, 2009

Bradfords' Spring

I took a photo of these trees in April and I can't remember whether it was early morning or late afternoon! I'm geographically challenged, as my husband will confirm. But the light really made these colors in the digital shot, and I played with them in the painting. This was done with a palette knife, no brushwork.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

morning cow

This is a section from a 12 x 36 painting, too long to capture and post here. The painting shows a dairy barn, silo, and three cows in the morning sunlight, down the road from our farm. I run by the cows (a big herd) every morning. Only the calves are startled, once in a while one of them jumps and runs so fast that a stampede is started. But usually they just graze and look at the nut trying to boost her road speed.

Seems like I should enter the 21st century and paint urban-type scenes, at least put a car or two in the paintings. But for now, I'm enjoying the clouds, greenery, and yes, cows.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sudan woman

This is a small 8 x 8 canvas that seemed suited for this woman's portrait. It had a a few lines of paint from a previous start of a painting, but when I lightly added dry brush strokes to start fleshing out the face, I felt the need to stop even though there is a red streak showing from the underpainting. It suggests a scar, which wasn't in the photo, but I left it.

Several years ago, I made an oil pastel image of the woman in Nigeria who had been condemned to a stoning death for having a baby out of wedlock. I titled it Nigerian Madonna. She was eventually saved by world outcry, and my drawing/painting sold as soon as the gallery owner put it on display. I like working with images of women who are not supermodel types, in fact, who are not looking for limelight or even a portrait painter. I want to capture the image of people who God made, in his image - especially the underdog, the underachiever, the unsung, the unassuming. I love the beauty in her eyes.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Potamac River Woodland

I photographed this scene in 2002 at a friend's farm on the Potomac. The day was misty and wet, with subdued colors. Painting the scene, I played up the colors from their gray tones. I was influenced by Wolf Kahn's lovely ethereal pastels of trees but used thick paint and a palette knife to build texture, scratch off paint, and spread more paint like icing on cake. I wanted to "feel" the scratchy twigs and rough bark, but I wanted to "see" the ghostly trees seen through a misty haze. Whether I was fully successful, I don't know, but I like the final image.

This particular area was the scene of a battle with Mosby's Rangers. The owner of the farm reports stories of hauntings in his old house. The farm itself is occasionally "haunted" by Mosby fans who trek to all the Mosby sites in our area. In the town nearest to me, the resting place of Mosby (in life and death), he is not seen as such a hero as he made lots of money after the Civil War in business with the carpetbaggers! Old southern resentments last long!

This painting is one of five on view and for sale at The Stable in Bluemont this weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

my three pears

I painted pears a lot when I studied at the Corcoran. A fellow student commented that my pears appeared to have human attributes by their relationships to each other as they leaned in or out in their grouping. I always think of my three kids when I look at this painting! This is one I don't think I would ever sell. My "model" was a photo by Priscilla Treacy.

visceral reaction

The heart is amazing. I did two heart drawings after having my own broken a few years ago - I shared them with a friend who grieved with me - left them with her temporarily, and then lost touch with her. Ah, but I'm glad to have them in her keeping. I did this painting last year; I wanted to make it beat and pump and glisten on the board using oil paint and palette knife like a scalpel. Some people don't like this painting, others really love it. One of my children has it now; she was one who seemed to have a visceral attraction to it. She used it as a prop in a play in NYC and told me many of the actors liked it, too!

the white pumpkin

I love this little pumpkin painting. It is for sale, but at a high price, as I don't want to see it go.