Thursday, December 31, 2009

autumn in January

On a roll with painting - this is my fourth in four days. The sunlight wasn't great this morning so all fruit in the kitchen did not inspire. I looked through old resource photos and found this one that I took last fall. I'm not sure where - possibly Rappahanock County in early November. I don't think it is our farm - I can't place those trees.

I know swirling paint around with a palette knife can be hack work. But. You do have to be careful not to end up with a muddy mess. I think some colors in the foreground grass may need to be dulled down a bit, then again, I don't know. The middle tree, the focal point, may also need some tweaking. Or, I'll leave it for now. I'm enjoying the time travel in my mind to not so long ago. I love watching trees change through the seasons, knowing that they will bloom again in spring, grow green in summer, and dazzle in the fall, leaving their true shapely forms to be seen in winter, stark and bare against the grey sky. Barring a sudden windstorm or blight, we can count on trees to be there.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Lots of titles suggested themselves to me for this painting (8 x 10) of a tangerine and two lemons. I set up the still life this morning wanting to portray human feelings by the arrangement of the fruit, the relationships of each to the others by proximity and protuberances. Stems and blossom attachments have always made me think of eyes and mouths.

I had only two lemons and one tangerine and their colors looked lovely in early morning light. That's why they were the chosen ones over apples for today's painting. Thinking of choices, people chosen for friendships and love affairs, gave me the idea of having the lemons as a club, the tangerine looking on, wishing to be a part of the group.

I have many thoughts and emotions while painting. Memories are dredged up while I'm in right brain mode. Of course, I'm also thinking of shape and space and color and light and dark and palette strokes, but painting provides space for meditation and remembering. Wistful scenes from childhood came up repeatedly - times when I was excluded from games and cliques and birthday parties. I wanted to tell the tangerine that it would be ok, that there were other friends to find and other parties that would welcome a lovely orange fruit. Ah well. Sadness has its purpose just like shadows and muddy hues. These all make the bright happy times stand out in contrast. All is used in life for good purpose.

Left Out. Excluded. Sad titles, so I settled on Wishing. If some wishes aren't granted, others are! I ended up feeling old and wise at the end of this painting session, and most of all, happy with the paint working together. Emotions and memories aside, I'm glad that I seem to have produced lemons in oils - a challenging subject for me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the driveway

Finally back to painting after several weeks. The sunlight was glinting off the grass, giving it a silvery blue sheen in places. I changed the tree line a bit to make the composition stronger. I'm learning that I don't have to make a map of where I was and copy actual shapes, but that in landscape it is quite ok to edit or change features to make a painting. I don't know why that hasn't sunk in before now - it's not a new idea!