Monday, August 11, 2008

At the Edge of the Forest

At the Edge of the Forest
Acrylic on Paper

Mondays are busy for me but I managed to find time for some painting this afternoon, done from a photo by my friend, Nina Bagley. I'm noticing what happens at the edges of natural things... the contrast of light and dark at the edge where meadow meets forest, the glow at the edge of a rose petal in the morning sun, the prism of colors on the shell of a soap bubble, the light edge on the tree trunks that I see out my studio window, the shadow edge on the house siding created by the sun shining on an overlapping board, the dark edge of my friend's cheek as light glows behind her. And I realize that I don't stop to look, not often enough, at this beautiful world that God created for us to enjoy. I hope you stop for awhile today just to look and wonder at the beauty around you.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I've been just thinking about all those questionaires where you're asked to list your hobbies and I realized that I never list photography which is crazy since that's one of my major activities. I'm hardly ever without a camera. My uncle and my father loved to take photos and Dad let me use his fold-up bellow camera when I was a youngster. It was way better than a Brownie although he bought me one to shut up my whining because "everyone" had a Brownie. I got my first SLR in 1966 and have progressed through lots of others. Hmmmm... I still have most of the cameras somewhere and they'd make a nice display on my fireplace mantle. My current favorite is a little Camon PowerShot SD700IS because I can stick it in my pocket or purse and have it with me wherever I go.

Yesterday we went to a friend's cabin on the Wind River just above the Columbia in Washington. We climbed down to the river through the puckerbrush and out onto these massive rocks that line the river. It's so beautiful there with the quiet interupted only by the water as it pounds the rocks and the occasional bird, including a rather lusty-sounding raven.

As I was eating lunch on my back deck I noticed some interesting leaf shadows on the umbrella.

Have I painted today? No, but I have made a bit of art with my camera, and that counts.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Plaster and Board

Several weeks ago I took a 5-day workshop from Pat Wheeler... called The Architecture of Memory. I completed 4 paintings in class and finished 2 more in my studio. I'm most pleased with these two.

Here are a couple of details:

These paintings are on 2" deep cradled 12" X 36"panels which were first painted with a dark color. Then limestone clay was troweled on and allowed to dry completely, and sanded. At that point I laid in the landscape with watered down acrylic paint, and after it was dry I went back in with a big nail and carved the trees. Then I sanded the pieces smooth and added the details with more paint. The colors extend around the sides and the surface is finished with a layer of cold wax medium and buffed.

Will I do more of these paintings? Maybe, but the process is quite labor intensive and my hands were killing me after the carving and sanding, so I may be wise and find something that isn't so hard on my body, even though I do like the process and the results.
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