Monday, October 31, 2011

Solace Triptych

Acrylic on three 12"w x 36"h x 2"d canvases
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

Solace has a few different meanings in the dictionary, but the best definition that relates to this triptych is 'cheerful place' or 'place of deep peace'. For long periods of time I've sat and viewed this painting and it has been very calming to me during a time of busyness. In this piece the last light of the day is visible in the upper left over the distant rock ridge and casts shadows across the foreground. I was very careful with this painting to keep the color darker and I spent countless hours adding texture with subtle highlights and shadows. Hope it brings you peace. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cardinal No. 2

Acrylic on 4"w x 4"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

I'm lovin' the color punch the deep reds and blues are creating. The crisp white Birch helps make these 4"x4" paintings grab your eye. And the should ... cardinals are one of the most easiest birds to spot. I know if I was a cardinal, I'd sure have a tough time playing hide and seek with the other birds. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cardinal No. 1

 Acrylic on 4"w x 4"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.
I'm working on some cardinal paintings for a future larger scale painting. The nice thing about the 4" size is that it brings the complete composition into view as I work on it .. as opposed to working on a small section of larger painting. This small size is also fun to set on a miniature easel and display on a shelf. The large painting I'm currently working on has been named 'Solace' and it will be ready in the next day or two. I'm finishing the final highlights now, and the painting is a triptych of three 1'w x 3'h canvases.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lone Leaf

This photo combines many of the elements I've been enjoying on my recent hikes through the woods. You can see bluestone, water, leaves, color and texture. I just had to take this photo as I was jumping across the stream on various stepping stones. Last time I slipped and fell in, this time I was more careful. :) This little leaf is saying 'look at me!' He's a resilient little guy, keeping his color when all his friends have faded to brown.

Work has been continuing on the studio, and the latest canvases on my easel. My triptych forest painting is well underway, the burnt sienna undertones already in place. I can't wait to unveil this painting later this week, as well as several small robin paintings. For fun, I've decided to chronicle my studio remodeling adventures on another blog which you can find here.

God bless

Monday, October 17, 2011

The last of the leaves

We went for a nice hike yesterday, revisiting some areas I'd taken some reference photos of before. I noticed I could get a better feel for the highlights and shadows with the leaves all on the ground. That aspect was helpful, but I found myself longing for the leaves to be back on the trees for just another week or two or three. The Autumn color is so intense and beautiful that it is difficult to see the leaves all over the ground. We took a few nice family photos, jumped across rocks to the other side of the stream, a feat that could never be done in the Springtime when this river is raging. But for now all is quiet and the leaves fill the stream which preserves their color for people to come by and enjoy before all is blanketed in snow.

For now I continue my large landscape triptych painting and just for fun a few red robins on small canvases to be posted later in the week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello Russia!

One of the features of blogging I enjoy most is the stats feature. You can see how many people have stopped by, and it keeps track of what posts are the most viewed. If you were into marketing, this feature would be immensely valuable to adjusting products to consumer demand. But in my case, it's just fun to see how many people have stopped by the blog. While the stats information is generic, you can still see what countries people have visited from, and I've noticed today that somebody from Russia stopped by so I just thought I'd say hi to whoever visited. Hopefully you'll stop back soon and see my greeting. Feel free to leave a comment. :)

I suppose I should give some information regarding painting too :) My next piece is ready to go, it's a triptych of 1'x3' canvases and it will be a landscape inspired by the moment I was standing at the base of the mountain staring through the trees at the setting sun. I'm hoping to have it finished this weekend.

My studio should be closer to completion next week as well. I'm taking some in progress photos of the project to share in the next couple of days, please stop back soon and say hi ... even if you're not from Russia. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lester Park Inspiration Photos

Hiking in Lester Park was filled with rugged trails with moss covered stones and lush vistas of Autumn golds and greens. The sunlight was filtering through the dense forest as we made our way along Amity Creek. The creek is was made famous by Samuel Snively who built a series of bridges in the early 1900's. When the seven bridges were complete they obtained the name Seven Bridges Road and the rest is history. Hiking along this creek past it's many rock formations, Birch and evergreen forests, and waterfalls ... I could imagine Mr. Snively having the same awe as I had. We have technology and modern conveniences like no other generation in history and yet I find joy in the simple pleasure of the forests. Perhaps that's why I live here in Duluth ... perhaps that's why I paint.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rock Quarry

Acrylic on 6"w x 6"h x 2"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please email me at for purchase information.

This painting makes me chuckle as I've been busy digging up my backyard, removing an old storm shed over a 12' x 24' tuckunder garage attached to my house. The garage had a asphalt driveway and block retaining walls on either side that were leaning precariously in. So after calling in some help from my folks, I've managed to make some progress digging and landscaping the entrance to my new studio space. I've unearthed at least 40 80 lb. concrete blocks and hauled them to the recycle center.

Duluth is full of rock quarries such as the one I painted ... it's just that no mere mortal man with a shovel and pickaxe could ever move them, and they shouldn't be moved, but left for all to enjoy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Golden Glow

Acrylic on 4"w x 4"h x 1.5"d canvas

More backlit Maples, I was experimenting with making the sky look like it was yellow leaves off in the distance. 
I've been busy working on my 'new' studio, pics coming soon. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

 Acrylic on 4"w x 4"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.
This theme has featured large rock outcroppings which are scattered all over the landscape here in Duluth. I found myself focusing on the rocks, working to give them a rich textural quality while keeping their edges soft. I want the rock formations to complement the soft leafy shadows in the foreground, not contrast them. While the small size of the canvas is a challenge, the composition is simple. I'll work on these rocks a few more days before adding in more elements ... almost like a chef adding ingredients to a delicious dinner ... bon appétit!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Golden Shadows

 Acrylic on 8"w x 10"h Canvas Panel
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please email me at for purchase information.

At first I was going to feature the gold toward the horizon but decided to go big and cover the sky with gold. Sunsets can be captivating with their range of color in varying degrees of intensity. I often wonder if things were reversed and the sky was sunset colored all day and turned sky blue at sunset if we would be so captivated by the blue because it's different. We'll never know the answer to that thought but I find blue skies and sunset skies both captivating. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inching Closer

Acrylic on 12"w x 22"h x 2"d Canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.

I've been really enjoying painting the negative spaces of paintings. Some painters cringe at the thought of a vast blue sky and how to paint it to look interesting, but I've been looking for negative spaces within compositions, such as the space between tree limbs or other elements. This painting features four trees that are hanging on to each other, inching closer to the edge, just curious about what's down there. Whenever I hike along a rugged stream or lake, I want to look over cliff edges myself .. there's just something about coming close to the edge. It's better to have someone to hold onto if you slip too. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Casting Shadows

Acrylic on 18"w x 36"h x 2"d Canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

Romping through the woods has given me lots of inspiration as of late and this painting reflects this. I've encountered rock formations that were so interesting that I just had to photograph them and place them in my memory for future reference. It's always amazing how the trees can grow right out of the rocks, it reflects a lot of determination of the tree's behalf. Growing where no tree has grown before. Maybe we can learn something from them. For now, I'm content to paint them and enjoy them in all their fall color. Casting their shadows on the forest floor and enjoying the view they have.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New Look

As we've been hiking around the area I've enjoyed the change in the scenery from lush greens to thousands of shades of yellows, oranges, cranberries and browns. What I've been enjoying most lately is the forest floor, the fresh leaves fallen on mossy rocks and fallen trees. This photo sums up what I'm describing as the texture of the Birch is very compelling along with the leaves in an orderly row across the top. Almost like someone placed them there lol. I even signed this photo, as you can see my right shoe in the lower right corner of the photo. :)

With the change in season I've reviewed my blog and website and decided to lighten them up. I hope you enjoy the fresh look, my original vision was black backgrounds and heavy colors to really make my art pop off the page but I've felt the dark theme distracting ... and since I've never seen a gallery paint their walls black to feature their art, I've decided to go with a white background and user-friendly layout.

Currently on my easel are several smaller works along with a 18"x36" and a 12"x24" canvas.
I'm anticipating finishing them up this week as I'm prepping new canvases and making plans to expand my art space into a new studio space. More on that coming soon.  :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More Autumn Reference

With the Autumn leaves rapidly approaching peak color, I've been out in the woods snapping up photos as fast as I can. Yesterday we hiked along Skyline Parkway around 40th Ave. West in Duluth where there are some massive rock outcroppings reaching up towards the sky. I've always wanted to explore this area, and I was able to get right up to the base of the cliffs and snap some interesting photos in the shadow of the ridge, along with the setting sun filtering through trees. In these reference photos you can see the ridge in the background appearing like a mountain.

The rocks are crumbly, giving the impression based on their mossy texture that they've been there forever and the trees have grown up all around them. It's amazing to find pines and maples growing out of the face of the rocks or out of cracks, wherever they can find room. The leaves and ferns are blazing gold in color, but the green leaves mixed in tells me I still have time to enjoy the season's color. Today's expedition will be to Lester Park, the famous Seven Bridges Road and Lester Falls.

I'll be bringing my camera. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn Inspiration

We took a nice evening hike through the rocky creek bed of upper Lincoln Park yesterday and I snapped up as many photos as my camera could hold. The sun was setting and the shadows and deep colors were so peaceful and beautiful that it was difficult to leave. Sometimes I forget how blessed we are to live in such a place surrounded by rugged wilderness that has remained for the most part untouched. I've been thinking about the direction for my next series of paintings and I've found myself drawn to compositions that feature bluestones with maples, birch and pine trees growing above the rocks. I suppose the rocks anchor the composition, much like the foundation of a house, but I'm drawn to the subtle shades of blue I see in the rocks featured in these photos. 

When I view art, I always want to know why the artist chose the subject matter. It is rare to speak to the artist and usually the closest you can get to an explanation is the artist's statement. That's where the internet comes in handy, to offer a place for explanation and inspiration. I'm drawn to what I choose to paint because the subject matter connects with me emotionally and I try with every painting to capture the feeling I had when I viewed the subject matter.

I'm excited to begin a new series. I can't wait to pick up the brushes and begin the creative process all over again. After I dropped off my work at The Vanilla Bean for my show, I spent a few days quietly thinking about where to go next, and while the next series may be similar to 'Twilight Maples', it will incorporate new elements that will stretch me as an artist, and I feel ready for the challenge. In the meantime, enjoy a few inspiration photos, these photos offer a glimpse into where my work is heading. Please stop by soon to view the new works as they come off the easel. -A