Monday, December 31, 2012

Untitled (Reflecting Pool #1)

On this, the last day of 2012, I plan to work on what will be my final pieces created this year.  I always look on this day with melancholy and retrospection - how could you not? I begin each year with high hopes and great expectations.  As the calendar progresses, those hopes and expectations inevitably fall as the reality of life (and of living) take over.

Creatively, I began this year working on a series of canvases based on my 2011 trip to Palm Springs, California.  It took me some time to get over the spectacular light and colors of that area.  I then worked from satellite imagery of my hometown, Raleigh NC.  I also returned to Yosemite, California (inspirationally, at least) to complete a series of small studies, and then turned to night scenes.  Oddly enough, I close the 2012 calendar having created small works based on nothing -- imaginary landscape studies that revolved around what I decided to call a "reflecting pool."  I have no conscious idea where these came from in my mind.  They just seemed to occur.

"Untitled (Reflecting Pool #1)."  Oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches.  Completed November 2012.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Red Barn in Winter

This small painting was created specifically for my annual Christmas card sent to family members.  It is based on a barn that stands near my parents' house in West Virginia. I improvised the snowy setting and the cold, winter sky but tried to faithfully represent the structure itself.

"Red Barn in Winter."  Oil on stretched canvas, 8 x 10 inches.  Completed November 2012.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Night Windows #1

This small work was the first painting I completed using a new painting medium.  When I first began working in oils as a teenager, and throughout my college and early adult years, I used the most traditional of mediums - linseed oil.  Eventually, I turned away from linseed oil because of the noticeable sheen it leaves on a canvas.  I then turned to turpenoid, a cleaning substance, as my medium for oils.  This worked effectively, although it does leave a dull surface that can make it difficult to "read" some colors. 

Last month I decided to try a commercially-produced painting medium.  I purchased Winsor & Newton's Oil Colour Artists' Painting Medium, and tried it out on this little canvas.  I love how this medium adds vibrancy to the colors, and it dried in a uniform manner.  It also added an element of slickness to the paint that I have found very appealing during the painting process.

"Night Windows #1."  Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches.  Completed November 2012.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yosemite Study #6

This is the last of my series of small studies based on imagery from my vacation to Yosemite National Park in 2010.  This canvas depicts the Upper Yosemite Fall at sunset.  Once again, I completed this piece in upside-down mode.  It was actually painted very quickly, in approximately 15 minutes.

"Yosemite Study #6: Upper Yosemite Fall." Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches.  Completed October 2012.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Yosemite Study #5

This is the fifth small piece I produced using Yosemite National Park as an inspiration.  As with the previous four studies, I completed this in "upside-down" mode: looking at a source image upside down, and painting the imagery upside down as well.  It helps me concentrate more on what the eye actually sees, rather than filling in the blanks with what the eye thinks it sees.

"Yosemite Study #5: Nevada Fall."  Oil on stretched canvas, 14 x 11 inches.  Completed October 2012.