This painting brings back memories of last winter's Arizona trip. During this time I painted a total of eight plein air paintings. I am fairly new to outdoor painting so this trip gave me some great practice. For this scene I set up my easel under a picnic shelter with an amazing view of the Superstition Mountain range not far from Phoenix. The weather was spectacular, the temperature in the mid 70's, and the setting was perfect! Painting rocks has never been my strong point so this was particularly challenging for me. On this painting trip I fell in love with the on location painting experience and want to continue this new venture in my home state of Virginia.
After traveling across the beautiful Casco Bay in a small mail boat, we arrived at the dock greeted by the only taxi on the island. After informal introductions we jumped into his car and headed off for a tour of the island. Since it is only 2 miles long before long he was letting us off to do some exploring on our own. We visited Kennedy Beach named after my ancestors on my mother's side and then meandered along the rocky shoreline turning off into some grassy meadows covered with goldenrod. The brilliant yellow with the sea in the background inspired me to paint this scene.
Autumn is a favorite time of the year and there is no better place to savor these days then in the forests, mountains and coastal areas of New England. We chanced upon this particular scene while hiking along a trail taking us through the marshlands and groves of white birch. The dazzling sunlight filtering through the brilliant yellow leaves of the aspens inspired me to paint this scene. The piece is near completion but I am still wondering about placing a person on the trail. What do you think? Do I need someone in the distance hiking the trail?
The colors of the mountains of the Southwest change so dramatically and as a painter I cannot paint fast enough. The exhilaration of being outdoors brings all your senses to life as I attempt to capture this beautiful symphony of colors. This was my first time plein air painting in the Southwest and I now know why it is a favorite of artists throughout the United States. The brilliant light, the crisp clear air, the endless sun-filled days dazzle the senses. Although I will not frame every piece I painted the experience of painting in God's beautiful creation is truly a spiritual experience.
This painting was done in plein air near Port Republic, Virginia. This was the point where the North River and the South River meet to form the Shenandoah River. I was with a group of artists who were particpating in an outdoor session with Ron Boehmer as our instructor. The day was overcast and chilly but Ron had made a fire to help keep us warm. The smell and crackling of the fire created a pleasant time for all in spite of the chill.
In this piece I tried to capture the brilliant vibrant yellows and oranges in contrast with the deep forest greens of the pines. Though I am neither a poet nor a musician, I hope the "music" in the piece sings to you of the drama and beauty of creation. This piece was also accepted into the 2014 National Juried Exhibition The American Landscape.
As we headed back from our long walk along the dirt road back to our cabin, I was captivated by the contrast of the black forest pines playing against the deep yellow fields in the background. This road has been well traveled and the land part of an old family homestead. Potato fields and old fenced corrals are a few of the remaining reminders of this Virginia outback. The road runs for several miles along the ridge line of the Shenandoah Mountains. To keep the essence of this scene I created a black and white photo and used that as my starting point bringing color into the painting gradually not wanting to lose the drama of the scene. I began using sepia and then added color. This was a new approach for me and one I will definitely try in the future. The scene took on an old world feeling. The beauty and serenity of this place never disappoints whether it be an early spring morning walk or a hike in late autumn.
This piece was accepted into the 2014 National Juried Exhibition The American Landscape.
Visiting the old town within the walls of the Citadel in Sighisoara, Romania provided a rich source of inspiration for this particular piece. I have walked this street often on my numerous trips to Romania and I am always captivated by the rich shadows and play of light against the buildings and cobblestone streets of Sighisoara. I used an experimental style with the use of alcohol combined with acrylic to create some interesting patterns and textures. Prints were created of this to raise funds for Veritas, a local Christian social service organization serving the needs of the poor in Sighisoara and the surrounding villages.
The spectacular colors of autumn in the New England countryside have always been a rich source of inspiration for me. The canopy of the towering trees provide a cathedral-like covering. The sparkle of the sunlight through the white birch trees, the glow of the trees with their brilliant fall foliage, the cool crisp air and the peace and solitude on the trail rejuvenate me and fill me with a boundless joy. Although I enjoy a variety of painting venues it seems I always come back to landscapes. They speak to me of God's creative nature and brings indescribable sense of peace to me. Being in the outdoors is a form of worship to me.
This piece has found it's home in the new RMH Women's Health Center. Women in our community go there for a variety of health related issues. My hope and prayer is that this piece will bring a sense of God's peace and healing, both physically and emotionally, to each woman who views this art.
This painting was created intuitively with no preliminary sketches or direction in mind at the outset. Rather I played with the paint and the use of alcohol to achieve some interesting textures and then allowed the art to speak to me. I began to see the image of the woman emerging and through the use of painting both positively and negatively I was able to create the image of the dancer. These pieces are fun to do and give a lot of room for playfulness and experimentation. Painting in this manner helps me "stay loose" when I approach my other more representational pieces..