Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yosemite Splendor

This post will be a little off-topic, as I am freshly returned from my seven-day trip to the Sierra Nevada Range in California. The first part of the trip was spent at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. There I was amazed by the giant sequoia trees - the largest living things on our planet - and the beauty of King's Canyon, deeper than the Grand Canyon of Arizona.

But the crown jewel of the trip was Yosemite National Park. My first view of Yosemite Valley (above) occurred after coming through the Wawona Tunnel. A turnout, the Tunnel View, afforded a spectacular vista of the valley. To the left was El Capitan, a massive wall of granite, to the right was Bridalveil Fall, flowing from recent rains and sporting a rainbow, and in the center was Half Dome. I'm not ashamed to say that this panorama choked me up for a few minutes. The beauty simply can't be must be experienced.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Heading for the Sierra Nevadas

I will be heading out to California tomorrow morning to spend a week in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The beginning of my trip will take me to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and then I'll end the week in Yosemite National Park.

I've been anticipating this trip for months, and it's my first real vacation in two years. I've longed to see Yosemite since being a teenager, and as an admirer of the painter Albert Bierstadt (who did a memorable series of monumental Yosemite canvases - like the one above - in the 19th century) I can't wait to walk the same trails as many artists before me. I don't know if the trip will inspire actual work, but it certainly should be inspirational to my creative spirit.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Exhibit - Lee Hansley Gallery

With the collapse of the Somerhill Gallery (chapter 7 bankruptcy) last month, my hopes of having a commercial gallery show this fall seemed to have disappeared with it. Fortunately, I was approached by another local gallery and offered a great opportunity - to join a planned October exhibit at the Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh with Sam Shelby and George Handy. As a result, I have nine paintings on display in one of the gallery's rooms from October 14 to November 13. The opening reception was held today, and the First Friday evening event (11 AM to 10 PM) will be November 5. Many thanks to the generosity and interest of the Lee Hansley Gallery for providing me this experience.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Main Street - Completed Work

Last summer I began a large commissioned piece that I entitled "Main Street." The composition is based on a street scene from Mount Airy, Maryland. Two previous posts (August 1, 2009 and August 22, 2009) provided progress reports on the project. I finally completed the canvas late last year and included it in my show at the Miriam Preston Block Gallery this past April. However, I never posted a photo of the completed painting. In general, I was satisfied with the results but I also enjoy looking at the in-progress images because they have a roughness that is gone in the final work.

"Main Street." Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Completed November 2009.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Evening in Cumberland

This work is another in the series of canvases I have completed based on architectural sources from Cumberland, Maryland. This painting was inspired by an imposing house on Washington Street. I was particularly fascinated with its bulbous tower that loomed above the front facade like a half-hidden face. I decided to place the composition in a dusk time frame to add some drama.

"Evening in Cumberland." Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 30 inches. Completed in April 2010.