Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

"Twilight Birch Triptych"

2012 was such a rollercoaster ride for me artistically that I don't know quite where to begin or end. I began the year with a painting in the Duluth Art Institute's Annual Membership Show titled Twilight Birch Triptych which was purchased by a collector from the twin cities. It was a great way to kick off the year, and I began some serious artistic soul searching through the winter months of 2012, producing several paintings which would refine my style and set the course for the work to be produced throughout the year.

Early in 2012 I began working with Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. I originally sent up five works on canvas, each approx. 12"x16" in size or so ... to see how my work would fit within their gallery. Long story short, those five canvases were sold there within the first couple months of 2012 and so began the adventure that is too detailed to describe in a short paragraph. Throughout the year, I sent up box after box of canvases only to be asked for more. My strategy of working small and fast seemed to jive with what people were collecting and looking for. While I'm thankful for the many comments and sales, I do know that 2013 will be even more exciting and I have a nice supply of canvases ready to go as I will be working with Siiviis Gallery in Duluth as well as Sivertson in Grand Marais, and I can't wait to see what will become. While I do endeavor to chart my own course artistically, I'm also inspired by collectors and people who appreciate my work and who help give me direction and clarity.

Throughout 2012 I continued to work with Lizzards Art Gallery in Duluth, and many pieces have been sold there and the owner, Jeff, is a great advocate for the arts in the community and also a great person to work with. Because Jeff opened his gallery to me early on in my career, he has a nice retrospective of work, from my early landscapes to my latest work, I love to go there to see how things have changed and progressed over the past year. In December, four pieces were sold, and I'd love to know who received them as gifts and how they feel about them. I may never know, but hearing from people on how my work impacts them is often my favorite part about being an artist.

Tree to Tree opened their gallery to me as well in 2012, selling several cardinal themed canvases and offering a unique place to display my work along the scenic north shore in Two Harbors, MN.

Finally, Blue Lake Gallery asked me to have a show for their annual Art for Earth Day Gallery Hop. I titled the show 'Tremendous Trees' and it was tremendous indeed, I painted at a feverish pace to create over 30 canvases for the show. I continued to work with Blue Lake over the course of 2012, and they are a wonderful gallery with an awesome assortment of 2D and 3D art. I've been thankful for their partnership and assistance and wish them all the best into 2013 and beyond.

I suppose I couldn't end this post without mentioning the summer shows I had the opportunity and to be a part of. Jitters was the first stop on a coffee shop tour. The show at Jitters was titled Urban Oasis and for the first time I set out to paint buildings. While the work was well received, it was difficult to produce and I found myself struggling for the first time through difficult subject matter. A few images from the show can be seen here. The show also featured several landscapes that were deep in color and collected by people from Duluth and Grand Marais. After that show, I hung 25 new works at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors for my next show Intimate Landscapes. Again, the work was well received and it was the most successful show I've ever had. The best part about that show was talking to people about the work via email, phone, and in person, several asking for works they had seen and vividly described. I shipped several works and wished the show could go on, but all good things must come to and end, and so after that show I worked feverishly once again to produce several large scale pieces for a show at Beaner's Central Coffeehouse in Duluth titled Awesome Autumn. The show was so captivating, as the walls were painted in warm orange and yellow tones, and the work looked so much like it was supposed to be there.

...and all I can say is a heartfelt thank you to all who have collected my work and encouraged my with kind words, ideas and inspiration. Ed Newman's piece on my work was so much fun to read, The Playlists's feature on my work was so fun to view, the North Shore Art Scene's help in publishing my work online ... along with all the gallery and collector help has made 2012 a year I will never forget.

Happy New Year and all my best!
God bless :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red Birch

"Red Birch" Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas
Here's a nice little birch painting that screams 'look at me!' lol. The photo doesn't do it justice, the reds really do grab your attention. I thought about a composition with the reds and birches on a large scale, that would really be something. Perhaps I'll add it to the to do list ...

Please contact Sivertson Gallery for more information on this painting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

First Snow Triptych

"First Snow Triptych", Acrylic on 12"w x 4"h canvas
As I shoveled snow yesterday I couldn't help but think about this painting and some ideas I have for other works that will no doubt soon be painted. Snow is white, and white is a tricky color to paint with. There has to be 10,00000000 shades of white, and when you paint on black canvas, it just adds several more zeros to that number. :) While I can't just paint white on black as I'm not going that effect, getting the underpainting just right is a challenge. I'm going to be working with snow for a while ... hopefully more with my brush and less with my shovel, but in Duluth, MN you better know how to run a shovel. Now that I mention it, it's snowing again. Gotta go ... paint.

Please contact Sivertson Gallery for more information on this painting.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Playlist features my work

Please click on the following link to view the video that The Playlist made that features my work. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stargazers 1-3

Here's three new cardinal paintings available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais. I've enjoyed working in series as of late, and these three are part of a series of six cardinals on a deep ultramarine blue background. The depth of color makes the white birch bark jump off the canvas, almost like the paint was backlit. The stars have the same effect. I was unsure about winter themed paintings, but with  painting the snow landscapes that will be featured here in the coming weeks, along with night landscapes, I'm having a blast! Maybe I won't hibernate after all this winter! lol.

ps-I'm having a little fun with Photoshop collages and thinking about presenting multiple works in prints that would be collectible and affordable, and fun. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


A nice selection of new original cardinal paintings will be available this weekend at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, including the six featured on this collage. The gallery also has a selection of my paintings available to purchase online on their website .. check it out. :)
 Please stop back as there will be several new cardinal paintings posted here daily.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Birch Tree Shadows

"Birch Tree Shadows"  8"w x 10"h
While on a trip up the North Shore to Grand Marais last week, I had the opportunity to stare out the window as I rode as opposed to watching the road while driving. The trip reminded me of childhood memories of watching the world go by while riding in a vehicle and how much I've missed that over the years as I'm often the one driving. I was fascinated by the landscape and shoreline filled with birch trees and forest floor covered by recent snowfall. There was some warm groundcover visible through the snow .. gold colored rushes and grasses along with deep crimson undergrowth. The late afternoon sun cast long blue shadows through the trees and the lake was a deep ultramarine blue. I didn't take any photos as I often like to do ... but the images are captured and filed in my mind and heart and will no doubt influence my work in the coming weeks. I have several landscape compositions coming soon, along with lots of 'stocking stuffer' 4x4 canvases. :)

Please contact Lizzards Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information on today's post titled 'Birch Tree Shadows', a new original acrylic on canvas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Forest

"November Forest" 16"w x 20"h
I thought this painting would be fitting for the last day of November, 2012. It was an unseasonably warm month, and I feel this piece reflects that in the reds and burnt siennas of the foreground. The brightening cobalt blue sky in the distance and stark birches hint at the snowfall that's sure to cover the ground in a warm white blanket until the singing of birds and opening of buds gives way to the new life of spring. Time to burrow in for the winter and get to work ...

Please contact Lizzards Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information on this new original acrylic on canvas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon

"Once in a Blue Moon"
Sumptuous. That's the word I would use to describe the ultramarine blues in this piece. From the original pigment value all the way up to pure white, this piece covers them all. It isn't often that a painting connects so powerfully with me and speaks right from my heart. In fact, it only happens once in a blue moon.

Please contact Lizzards Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information about this new work on canvas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Golden Sparkles

"Golden Sparkles"
On a cold, gray day, I thought this piece would brighten things up a bit. :) When I started this one, I kept the ultramarine blue on the dark side to give the gold ridge across the lake something to contrast and compliment. I wish this was my view today, perhaps kicked back in an adirondack chair on the front porch as I watch the sun setting across the lake through the birch trees. :)

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information aboutthis painting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My website's new look

Please visit my website and check out my 'new and improved' design. The new layout is more streamlined and offers enlarged sections of my work on each page. While I would wish that all could view my artwork up close and in person, the enlarged works on each page give a feel for the brushwork and depth of color that appears in my work. I plan to rotate these 'glimpses' into my work on a regular basis.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello Mr. Moon

"Hello Mr. Moon" 
I couldn't help but think of this painting last evening as the coldest weather rolled into Duluth yet this season dropping the temp into the single digits. There's something fascinating and inspiring about the evening sky ... and when it's reflected in water it becomes even more mysterious and captivating. Crimson reds of a distant maple forest across the lake reflect into the ultramarine blues of the water while stars twinkle in the sky. Hello Mr. Moon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Descending Lights

"Descending Lights"
With this painting, I wanted to capture the northern lights descending as opposed to ascending as they frequently appear in the landscape. It's good to challenge yourself as you work ... and this one was a challenge ... a rewarding challenge.

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information aboutthis painting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Aurora Rising

"Aurora Rising" 9"w x 12"h
Another northern lights painting, this one pushes the light dark relationship even more towards the light. Night paintings are not easy. I know most people will only see the finished product and not all the pondering behind the color values and composition, and maybe that's a good thing. :) Frequently, when people stop by I say 'you can't see it .. it's not done yet!' But much of life is about the journey, so it's good to hear some feedback on works in progress. Today's painting is finished, but I'm not done yet, I have lots of landscapes to explore ... and capture on canvas.

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information about this painting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lights Across The Lake

"Lights Across The Lake" 10"w x 8"h
This is the first of a three-part series of works featuring northern lights. All I can say is that when I paint these lights in the sky, I almost feel as if they're too sacred to be painted ... perhaps something that should be viewed in person. When I've observed the northern lights in person, they've always been a greenish white color, and they move across the sky in almost a serpentine fashion. It's the most amazing thing, the lights along with the stars and the silhouettes of pines, birches, and maples. It's a sight you will never forget.

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information about this painting.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sivertson Gallery Blog features my paintings :)

Sivertson Gallery's blog has a nice little post about my artwork along with a write-up by an employee sharing their impressions of my artwork and how they react to it. Also a couple images are on their blog, including this one which shows their gallery display of my original acrylics taken in mid-November 2012.

Aaron’s paintings continue to inspire me to get out into these beautiful woods that surround Grand Marais, and count my blessings that I am able to enjoy the wilderness along with these fantastic paintings, all year round at the gallery.

Thank you Sivertson Gallery! -A :)

Cranberry Ridge

"Cranberry Ridge" 8"w x 10"h
All I can say about today's post is that I sure wished the view out my back door was of this every day! The next best thing is to paint what my heart yearns for. :)

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information about this painting.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Green Glade

"Green Glade" 12"w x 9"h
Green is a color that reminds many of Spring and Summer. It's a calming, soothing color. So adding to the title of today's work only seemed natural to me. However, I just looked up the word 'glade' as I often use it, and think I know what it means, but as I discovered it has a deeper meaning. Here's what webster's had to say:

glade  Word Origin & History
"clear, open space in a woods," 1520s, perhaps from M.E. glode (c.1300), from O.N. glaðr "bright" Original meaning would be "bright (because open) space in a wood" (cf. Fr. clairière "glade," from clair "clear, bright;" Ger. Lichtung "clearing, glade,"

When naming this painting, I was thinking about a glade being part of a forest, perhaps a grassy meadow. But when I looked up the word, I realized the 'clear open space in a woods' was a perfect descriptive word for today's work. I love clearings as much as dense woods. My style compels me to look for compositions where I can blend color value across vast space such as sky and lake. Today's piece features a vast open space filled with green that I envision is an evergreen forest backdrop to the golden leafed autumn birch trees in the foreground. 

Perhaps clearing out the clutter and having some clear, open space in my life is in order. :)

Today's painting Green Glade is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet Dreams

"Sweet Dreams" 9"w x 12"h
This painting is yet another one I had a hard time letting go to the gallery. It has such a nice color value range in the ultramarine blue and cadmium yellows that I found myself just viewing the painting over and over, returning to it, hoping to capture what draws me to this one on subsequent canvases I was working on. It's probably the combination of subject matter, composition, and color working together that gives this piece the peace it has. When I view this painting, everything is quiet, everything is still and peaceful. It's the feeling that all is right and it brings a smile to my face ... Sweet Dreams. :)

Today's painting Sweet Dreams is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birch Lake Reflections

"Birch Lake Reflections" 20"w x 16"h
Another round of work is finished and I'm going through my usual unwinding time now. A flurry of activity always happens the last few days that I'm working on canvases, and then all of sudden they're boxed up and gone and the studio is quiet and empty.

I thought this painting would be a nice one for today. When you view a lake, river, etc and observe distant trees and landforms reflecting in the water, you may not pay any attention .. or if you're like me, seeing the reflections in the water makes me pause and think about where I've been and where I'm going.

The changing season is upon us, the snow will be falling soon, and I'm feeling like pushing the dark/light in the colors of my next work. We'll see ... I've been viewing some older work and enjoying the deep richness of the color, and the new work next to it with it's color sparks and punches of light and thinking ... hmmm ... what would happen if I combine them? Only one way to find out!

Please stop back soon as I have two weeks worth of posts ready to roll. Gotta get some new canvases on the easel ... :)

Today's painting Birch Lake Reflections is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN

Friday, November 9, 2012

Birds on a Wire

"Birds on a Wire" 12"w x 12"h
This is a painting I've had in mind for months and finally got around to painting it. I may expand on this in the future, but it's a fun idea, and composition to paint. Once again, I'm breaking the composition rules and working some symmetry into my paintings. Shhhh ... don't tell my art school teachers lol


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Best Seat in the House

"Best Seat in the House" 12"w x 12"h
Birds have an unfair advantage of having feathered wings to carry them wherever they please. This little guy has quite a view from his seat. Birds are so fun to watch .. so elegant .. so free from care and worry. Perhaps we can take a lesson from the birds and slow down and enjoy the blessings in our lives.

This little guy is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four Fowls

"Four Fowls" Acrylic on 12"w x 12"h canvas
This painting is currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. I'm soooo glad the election is over. What a stark contrast between mud-slinging politicians on both sides of the aisle vs. cardinals in a peaceful woodland. I'll take the later. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Golden Boys & Evergreen Guy

"Golden Boys Triptych" 12"w x 4"h
"Evergreen Guy" 4"w x 4"h
Over the next few days I'll be posting several new cardinal paintings available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. I had some fun with these cardinal compositions, please stop back soon! -A

Monday, November 5, 2012

Golden Lake

"Golden Lake" 12"w x 12"h

This painting, along with several others recently completed, feels like a direction that I'll be exploring in the next few months. When the snow flies, as an artist, you wonder what to paint. On one hand, painting with white is new, exciting, and challenging all at once. Yet, you wonder if people will collect winter paintings or not. Ultimately, I feel if I'm able to create work I enjoy and captures the mood and emotion of the landscape, then others will connect with it as well. For the winter season, I'll be embarking on twilight and nighttime excursions through the silent forest, listening to the crunching of the leaves on the November forest floor. Then, the crisp white and deep blue shadows of December snows will beckon as the moon and stars sparkle and dance across the landscape. 

This painting is currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Golden Reflections

"Golden Reflections" 12"w x 12"h
I just love this theme of reflecting water. Perhaps in comes from my love in symmetry. Compositions are considered more interesting when asymmetrical, but I beg to differ. :) This painting combines many things I'm drawn to, such as deep water, cobalt blue skies, blue stones, golden birch ridges and of course the moon. These are just a few of  my favorite things. :)

This painting is currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Two's Company

"Two's Company" 8"w x 8"h
These guys are probably talking about the political campaign spending topping six billion this year. They are probably thinking the money could go to better uses .. like bird seed and birch trees. Happy Friday! ;)

This painting is available through my Daily Paintworks online gallery.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rosy Cheeks

"Rosy Cheeks" 8"w x 8"h
I couldn't resist having a little fun with this title. It won't be long before the snow flies here in Duluth, MN. I just love a red cardinal on a sunny day with crisp white birch trees. I have a couple more cardinal paintings to post, then next week I'll focus more on the landscape .. perhaps with more twilight lighting. Please stop back soon. :)

This painting is available through my Daily Paintworks online gallery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Listening In

'Listening In' 8"w x 8"h
Just a little red rascal perched on a birch.
Have a happy and safe Halloween. :)

This painting is available through my Daily Paintworks online gallery.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birch Lookout Post

"Birch Lookout Post", 8"w x 8"h
Have you ever observed a bird sitting on a branch and wondered what it was thinking? When the birds aren't busy looking for food, building nests, caring for their young or migrating ... what is it that they do all day? On a chilly day like today, perhaps they are thinking of flying south for the winter ... at least that's what I'd do if I was a bird. :)

This painting is available through my Daily Paintworks online gallery.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daily Painting: Cardinal in Green

Cardinal in Green, 8"w x 8"h
 A casual cardinal in a birch branch flanked by evergreen ridges in the distance. Red and green are such festive colors, aren't they?

This painting is available through my Daily Paintworks online gallery.

Back in the saddle

Tis the season for viruses and I picked up one which knocked me off my horse last week. (I don't own a horse, but I do have a brown cocker spaniel puppy named Crimson that likes to horse around when I'm working.) Anyways, I will be back to my usual self this week and will start posting new work starting tomorrow. I currently have a peaceful 20"wx16" landscape on the easel featuring golden birches on a lake. I just love the way reflections in water affect a composition's look and feel. I remember Monet being fascinated with water, painting it time after time in large scale works. I'll have to look into that bit of art history soon. Other works in process are several 12"wx12"h landscapes as well as several smaller works with cardinals and fall birches and maples. The snow hasn't started flying here yet in Duluth, but I have a feeling it won't be long before my work has the crisp white of snow covering the ground in the birch forests I love to paint. Have a great day! -A

Crimson on the park bench

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn Sky & Moon Shimmer

"Autumn Sky" 12"w x 12"

"Moon Shimmer"
Two more works available at Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth. Along with the the new forms of the colorful autumn trees, I've saturated the canvas with color deeper than my usual. At first, I didn't like the rich color as it was new ... but it sure has grown on me. It makes the painted canvases feel more alive in some way, almost as if the color is too rich to be hand painted. I can't wait to explore the color richness more ... always new frontiers to explore ... makes the artistic journey rewarding. :)

Rainy day here in Duluth, I need some inspiration ... perhaps working on some bright paintings will do the trick today. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Star Sprinkled Sky

"Star Sprinkled Sky" 12"w x 12"h
This piece is a continuation of the series I've been working on that features trees in the shapes they have when viewed from a distance. The nighttime sky is also a recent endeavor of mine to capture, one that is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There is a deep saturation of color with this series, especially the works like this one. If you like color, you'll love this series.

Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information about this piece.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Moonlit Jems

Moonlit Jems, 20"w x 16"h
The color saturation is a feast for the eyes. This piece, along with seven other new works at Blue Lake Gallery feature the repetition of the forms of trees as seen from a distance. I love the reflections in the lake, this painting has a nice feeling of whimsy.

Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information about this piece.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sparkling Birches

"Sparkling Birches" 16"w x 20"h
I stopped in at Blue Lake Gallery the other day and one of the staff mentioned that I'm known as the 'birch tree guy'. When I heard that, two things came to mind ... one good, one not so good. On the good side, you want people to easily recognize your work as an artist. The last thing you want people to have to do is try to figure out who's painting they are looking at. On the not so good side of things, I don't want to limit my artistic vocabulary too much. So there's the balance of wanting to show off all my creativity, yet reigning it in so that my work is cohesive.

Ultimately, I want to paint what I'm passionate about. I love birch trees ... and blue stones ... and blue skies ... and intense color ... and square brush strokes. Did I mention birch trees?

Please contact Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth, MN for more information about this piece.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New work at Blue Lake Gallery

"Colorful Lake", 12"w x 6"h
"Birch Jewels, 6"w x 12"h
 I've recently dropped off seven new works at Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth. They were all painted simultaneously with the endeavor to use color in a new way. While I'm happy with the result, there is always the question 'should I veer at all away from what I'm creating lately?'.  I would venture to say 'no', to keep my artistic voice consistent and clear. While it's fun to try new things and blaze new artistic trails every so often, just like your signature that is unique to you, or your fingerprints being one of a kind, so the artist must return to their signature style, whatever that may be. I must return to the easel, there are landscapes patiently waiting for me. Gotta go.

Please stop back again soon as I'll be posting new work from Blue Lake Gallery several days this week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday morning landscapes

I thought I'd take a break from the easel and post some landscapes that were completed and sent out this week. These feature autumn colored trees as they appear from a distance. It's been a fun challenge working with these forms and how they interact together. It's 39 degrees and light rain here in Duluth today ... it's kind of a stay inside, wrap yourself in polar fleece and drink coffee kind of day. :)

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marias, MN for more information about these paintings.
"Jewel Ridge" 6"w x 6"h
"Aurora" 6"w x 6"h
"Lake Jewels" 6"w x 6"h
"Tiny Jewels" 4"w x 4"h