Subtle Storm

Are you intriqued with gentle storms and peaceful feelings, brilliant colors and happy places? I’d like to share something a little different with you because this painting was created in a different  kind of way for me. I like the final product, it was experimental and creative combining different aspects of how and why I did what I did. I also thought you might like to see the three process pictures. I don’t always take pictures because I get too caught up in the moment painting. But this one was different…I hope you enjoy!

I thought it was pretty cool painting out of the ordinary.

The original painting became the underpainting.

Not too long ago, I took a painting workshop taught by the creative and talented artist Bonita Goldberg. The key approach in this workshop was to “put passion into your paintings.” She taught that the colors we use in our paintings can indicate emotion and passion. The yellow and blue painting you see here was the finished product from the workshop. I painted it from a reference photo I took while on Cumberland Island off the Georgia coast. The thrill of being there, the island and the marsh brought me “happiness, optimism and joy” indicated by the yellows in the sky. The blues represented “peace, calm and serenity.” All of the feelings associated with being in a beautiful place, with the person you want to be with.

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I was a little more than half way done at this point.

In the middle.

A few months passed and I kept looking at the painting. I liked it but always wanted to do more. Being such a realist, I decided to complete it with colors that were more like the true colors I saw. Once again, I went to my reference photo to get the needed information. I added some land and the clouds that were really there. I imagined, and then painted the storm in the background. 

Subtle Storm
framed oil on canvas. 11 x 14
$375 available

“Subtle Storm”.  It spoke, I listened.

“Subtle Storm” and it’s emotional underpainting seemed to create a glowing effect which surprised me. It’s as if I could hear the distant thunder and the gently rain in the background as I painted. What a gift to be happily surprised, letting the painting speak. I know, that’s strange, but that’s how I roll!

I used my artistic license when adding the few foreground flowers. The storm really didn’t exist, it most likely would have been seen as dark clouds with rain as the storm brewed in the distance. You notice these things when you’re an artist looking to observe truth in nature. Sometimes it’s fun to bend the truth and I can safely do that with a piece of art! I totally enjoyed the process, what a gift to be able to recreate and relive vivid, joyful and emotional moments in this life.

 

Joy Of The Earth

Joy Of The Earth, 12 x 16, Pastel on board, $350

Day after day, the relentless call came to me “Look over here, create !” I was possessed by the early morning scene that stretched across the eastern sky each day on my walk and the earlier I went out, the more beautiful it became. The yellows and oranges were bursting as the fog gently hovered just above the damp ground on each cool mid-spring morning. After a few days I succumbed to the call.

I had a piece of board in the studio that I had hand primed with a burgundy pastel primer and had been waiting for the right time to put into use. I spent about 5 days working on this pastel painting, but four days out of the five I had truly decided in the middle of the night to fold it up and just throw it away. “Just be done-give it up, throw it away!” the night voices would tell me. But my heart spoke another song, the same song it spoke when the scene called my name, so I persevered.

And on the last day, as the scene then became the painting, it spoke again, this time in silence. I added the final touches and walked away.

Prayerful Thoughts

Prayerful Thoughts, 18 x 20, framed oil on linen, $400

There she was, on her pedestal in that beautiful old cemetery. She was so mournful and so beautiful at the same time with her wreath in hand and I was so compelled to paint her. She had no name attached as a monument to the loved one that she represented. She just knelt there, outside the chapel forever mourning the one she had lost.

“Prayerful Thoughts”, isn’t that the silent attitude that is evoked when we grace the entrance to a cemetery? It is the peaceful reverence for those that have gone on to the unseen place that we know truly exists. It is the knowing that the other side is real because we all love and have known so many that have gone on before us. And love will never ever die, because it continues to live on in us for those that have gone on before. We also know that we too must go on and one day we will, it is a fact.

She is painted in oil on an 18″ x 20″ linen canvas, so fitting for what she represents. And she still brings a sense of peace, even as she mourns on my studio wall.

I hope that I have not alarmed you with my sense of bereavement, it’s just that old cemeteries and old statues bring that out in me, and they are beautiful.

Winter has taken a toll, even on my thoughts and attitude and I think it is time for spring to arrive. It is time for my “prayerful thoughts” to be centered on the resurrection of Christ, the most important event that is celebrated in all of time. My next blog post will be more on that cheerful note! In the meantime, Christ died even for you, take Him at His word, He will never fail you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Crimson Farm

Crimson Farm, 12 x 6, framed oil on panel, $250

This is Crimson Farm. It is an old place that was up the road when we lived close to Caesar Creek State Park. It still stands but at one time it was a beauty, at least I thought so even in it’s slightly raggedy condition. It was beginning to show some wear and grow weeds all around so I thought I had better get in the car, get up there and take a photo before it was too late.

Later in the studio, it was especially fun to paint with the reds, pale greens and faded blue sky. The photo was taken on a sunny day which washed out most of the natural color, all except the barn and silos which helps make them the standout in their worn out condition. I used oil paints and a palette knife to paint with instead of a brush which gives the painting so much texture. A palette knife is very freeing, especially for someone like me who likes to pick out and include every detail in a picture and include those details in a painting.

Another interesting aspect of this painting is the fact that I used a Masonite panel as my support which was painted with hot pink gesso (which I mixed up myself). If you look close enough you will find little sparks of hot pink that pop out from beneath. Some might say “what is that?”  This little painting measures a mere 12″ x 6″ and is set in a wooden frame that blends with the deep red of the barn. It hangs in my living room for the time being, is quite lovely and is for sale (if you are interested or would like to look simply contact me).

This old barn and these silos don’t necessarily have a dramatic story to go along with them, at least from my point of view, but I am sure that they’ve seen enough life of their own, if this old farm could talk.

One Foggy Morning

One Foggy Morning

One Foggy Morning, 9.5 x 11, framed pastel on board, $285

It was a morning late last summer when fog had wrapped itself around my world in mysterious silence . I had to take my camera this special morning, there wouldn’t be too many more like this for awhile.  So I saddled up the dog (I tell her that when we are going on a walk) with her halter and there we went, down to the dip in the road. I stopped, snapped this picture and then continued in the morning silence beyond.

Notice the softness of the picture. I knew this painting would be perfect for pastels. I worked my very soft pastels on a toned blue/gray board with very little texture. You have to be careful about the layering of pastels when there is no texture, but I wanted the viewer to get a grasp of the atmosphere that I experienced that morning.

And then there are the cows, peaceful cows that have a tendency to walk into my pictures. I couldn’t be more blessed.