Wednesday, May 30, 2007

After what has seemed like a week of distractions, I've finally started some paintings based on our trip to Bath County. While we were there hiking around by rivers and such, I got fixated on the idea of using a wax medium to make this series of paintings. With painting, I love playing around with different mediums and surfaces. I know this sounds somewhat experimental, but what I mean to say is that I will immerse myself in a medium for some time, getting to know it's nuances. I've been painting with a mixture that's allowed me to paint fairly thinly and fluidly. The wax, as I've rediscovered, behaves in a totally different way. It's thick, builds up more quickly on a surface, and dries very fast. It doesn't totally dry for a while, so within several days I can go back into the painting, building it up and coaxing it toward something complete. I love what it does with the paint, as the colors remain luminous and clear, but layers underneath show through. For me, it's playing with those layers of color as well as getting a surface that I love.
I was trying to remember the last time I painted with wax. I'm thinking it was when I was doing my thesis show at VCU. I was painting bees then. I miss the bees. I don't have a single bee painting left from that time, so I might just have to paint a bee or two just to have at home. It's feeling more like summer here, and of course we have our share of wildlife and bees and nature around our place. My daughter has started her own dead insect collection... mostly little bees lined up on her bookshelf in her room. She has had a long passion for bugs, and says she may be an entomologist when she grows up. I may paint a bee or two this summer in the spirit of collaboration with my six year old.

I'll leave you with some images of the bee paintings in which I used wax as a medium. Sorry that this is "old" work. The new ones are too new and fresh and in progress to share quite yet.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The working weekend in the mountains was really great. We had gone out to Bath Co., VA to explore and stay at a friend's cabin. The house was wonderful. Private, great views, spacious, well-stocked, with lots of thoughtful and artistic details. It even had a secret staircase behind a bookshelf which led to a crow's nest. The kids, of course, slept in this spot. The first day was a bit rainy, so we drove around a lot and took lots of pictures of beautiful vistas. I set up my easel and did a few oil sketches from some of the views from the house.


The second day was a bit more productive, in terms of gathering information. We went on a great hike by a river, complete with picnic. We discovered that Bath County is really beautiful. Some fun facts: 89% of it is covered in forest. Something like 50% of it is owned by the US Forest Service. It also has the most water of any county in Virginia, with lots of rivers, streams and lakes. I felt like I've just tapped into the surface of what's there. I got a ton of photos to work from, but I may just need to go back to get more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Weekend update

I'm about to take off for a working weekend in the mountains. I'm excited about a trade I'm doing. I'm taking my family to a beautiful cabin, with terrific views, for a long weekend. I'll be busy gathering new resource material for my paintings. I'll be hiking, driving, etc. and photographing whatever catches my eye. I'll also be doing some plein air studies, gathering visual information to take back to the studio with me. In exchange, the folks who own said cabin will get first pick of the paintings that come out of this body of work. It makes me happy, and hopefully it'll make them happy when all is said and done. This trip comes at a perfect time, as I've been gathering momentum in my work and looking for things to paint.

The idea of trading artwork for a place to stay is not new. When I was an undergrad in art school, one of my professors had started a nice little gig for herself where she would stay in these fabulous places and make paintings, all in trade. She's been doing this now for a good many years, and you can see what has come out of it here:
http://www.conniehayes.com/borrowedviews.html
I love this woman's work. I was lucky to have her as a professor for 2 years, and also am lucky enough to have one of her paintings. It was a wedding gift from my best friends.

So, I'm off to make art. This is a photo of my garage last weekend. I was priming and sanding maple panels, preparing them for painting:






And this is a work in progress.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This is a group of three panels. Each measures 6"x8". This is the view of the trees from my studio, from this past winter.

These paintings, measuring 4"x4", have recently found homes. I wanted to post these as well, to show what is coming out of the studio these days.





Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sea & Sky 2

Please see the notes below on the similar painting. Again, this is 8"x8" on canvas. It has deep stretcher bars so it sits nicely on the wall. The painting came after a trip to coastal New Brunswick, Canada

Sea & Sky


This was created last fall, after a trip to New Brunswick, Canada to visit my family. The way that the sea and sky come together there is so beautiful. This is 8" x 8", oil on canvas. This canvas is on wide stretcher bars, so it has a nice presence while hanging on the wall. I've painted the edges so that it doesn't necessarily need to be framed.

Studio Sale

This is a not-so-recent painting. Probably from a year or so ago. This one is on masonite, and is not cradled, meaning that it's a flat board. This one would be great to have framed. It's 6"x11", oil on masonite. The image is of marshes at the Outer Banks of NC. I'm offering this one up for $175.


Studio Sale- $100 paintings

These next two are also 4"x4". They are also on canvas, but are only about 1 1/4" thick. Not the same chunky canvases as the ones below.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Studio Sale- $100 paintings

Here's the first round of work. These are 4"x4". This set will hang well together, as they are not only the same size, but are painted on chunky little canvases.





Welcome!

Hi! I've decided to start up a blog. Mostly this is for family, friends & patrons to get the first glimpse of what's coming out of the studio. I actually have a real website, but it's not the easiest thing to update. So, I'm going to use this as a way to update everyone on a semi-regular basis as to what I'm working on these days. Comments and emails are always welcome!