Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Birch Forest Beckons

Acrylic on 40"w x 30"h x 1.5"d Canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

The Christmas holiday season had me traveling and shopping and wrapping (and eating cookies), which occupied my time and thoughts so this painting was worked on over a longer period of time. The longer time resulted in another layer of birch trees behind the trees in the foreground. The birches in the background are a light blue and don't demand your attention .. they are content to hide in the hundreds of shades of blue in the sky behind them. Along with subtle twilight lighting, I enjoy adding 'leaves' to the foreground in many shades of burnt sienna and 'birch' gold. :) I'm really loving the crisp white birch trees, I think I'll continue exploring the birch tree as it's found in the landscape. The birch trees are beckoning me, gotta go...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Maple Valley

Acrylic on 12"w x 12"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.

Part of painting is limiting yourself. You could go crazy with hundreds of paint colors and brush stroke sizes, not to mention glazes, mediums, textures, etc ... but what you're trying to do is convey an image. And that image always packs more punch when simply stated. I suppose you could say a successful painting is like enjoying a beautiful summer sunset from a cozy adirondack chair while on vacation versus sitting in highway rush-hour traffic and watching a sunset. Which one would you prefer? I know there are some who prefer the latter but I favor the former. The lighting in this series emanates from the ground up, a phenomenon of the twilight sky in contrast to the bright daylight shining down from above. This series has been called 'Twilight Maples' and includes many paintings who have found their way into people's homes and hearts just like a peaceful twilight sky. There's no limit when your limit yourself.

Up next is another 12"x12" maple landscape, it features rock formations, trees, mossy green ambient lighting and cranberry colored leaves. It will make it's way from my easel to the web in a day or so .. and then hopefully into someone's home ... and heart. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mossy Rock Inspiration Photos

During my hikes in the wilderness behind my house in Duluth, I've found myself drawn to elements in the landscape that I had previously taken for granted. Rocks. Majestic mountains get painted all the time but rarely does someone paint the smaller rocks found along trails and streams. I've been trying to incorporate more rock formations into my landscapes as of late because the rocks are so prolific in my area that it just seems like they belong in the composition. But, alas, people don't really notice them. They don't jump off the canvas, they're just there. And I don't want the rock formations to just be there, I want them to grab your attention just like the trees and skies I'm becoming known for do. I've been going back over reference photos and I've realized that I haven't been painting the rocks very ... what's the word ... authentically.

The rocks in the photos are covered with lichens and moss, not to mention leaves and sticks yet I've been focusing on their form and not so much their texture. This is just one of many things artists agonize over while they are working. People think we just paint pretty pictures but it's more than that, it's expressing yourself on canvas while being true to your subject matter and yourself at the same time. The image created must speak to the artist and I've often believed that if the work of art connects with the one who created it, it will also connect with it's audience. It's funny how the paintings that have quickly sold were also my favorites and I found myself not wanting to part with them. But I'm happy to be able to share my gifts with others, and the thought that my artwork brings the beauty of the land where I live to people's lives, then it makes the struggle of trying to capture the image inside of me on canvas all that more rewarding. It's this struggle that I've been facing lately, what to paint, how to paint it ... along with the change in seasons from colorful autumn leaves to bleak blue winter skies and endless oceans of white snow covering the ground like a thick blanket until the vibrant greens of spring and summer wake the land from it's slumber to produce life yet once again. I'm working on a couple 12"x12" studies at the moment, wrestling with those beautiful rocks in anticipation of incorporating them into a large 48"x36" canvas. Please return soon. God bless.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quite a Pair

Acrylic on 6"w x 6"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.

A simple study of cardinals painted more expressively than usual. I'm planning on incorporating some cardinals into my Birch landscapes in the future, but due to their bright red coloring, I want to be comfortable with their size and proportion as they will definately pop off the canvas. These two mischievous little birds already found a home. Have a great weekend.

  1. (of a person, animal, or their behavior) Causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way: "two mischievous kittens".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twilight Birch Triptych

Acrylic on three 10"w x 30"h x 1.5"d canvases
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

It's no secret that I've been working on capturing twilight lighting on my canvases in recent history. There's just something about the deep blues and shadows during the last light of the day that compels me to paint with the rich colors that I use. I can't imagine at this point painting any other subjects without the depth of colors. I just dropped off this painting at Lizzard's Art Gallery in Duluth, it was fun to see the gallery all decked out for the holidays. Lots of unique gift ideas in the gallery, and soon I'll be back to take some photos of all my latest work hanging together, can't wait. :)

For now I'm content to stay here, deep in the forest as the sun sets. The birches contrast strongly with the fading light and even though the birches are clothed in crisp white bark, even they too will soon be covered in a deep blue veil of night.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blaze Maple Rays

Acrylic on 36"w x 24"h x 1.5"d canvas
Click on image above to enlarge.
Please contact Lizzard's Gallery for purchase information.

The title is self explanatory. This was painted during an overcast couple of days and as usual, I seem to paint the opposite of how I feel. So the colors are bright and punchy and full of depth and texture. This one just makes me smile. :)