Thursday, June 21, 2012

Urban Oasis: Small Birch Sunsets

These canvases titled Blue Vista, Shimmer, and Sundowner from my June 2012 show titled Urban Oasis at Jitter's Coffee in Duluth may not look tiny but they each measure only 4"wx6"h.  Compared to the large canvases I've painted in the recent past, these feel like painting on a postage stamp! I enjoy the challenge of working small though, you have to really concentrate and realize that every brushstroke is going to be viewed and scrutinized.
 These works feature birches along Minnesota's north shore. In the compositions are the familiar large stones found along the lakeshore, birch trees, the lake, sky and ground. The light source causes the birch trees to cast shadows along the ground which is more than just a nice effect. It's a recent theme of mine, and I find myself enjoying the shadows as I paint. I think it may be due to the shadows being the last brushstrokes of the painting, kind of like the icing on the cake. Like the last chapter of a good book, when the painting is complete I find myself wishing I'd enjoyed the process more than just trying to get through the work to the next painting.
Viewing these images together is quite soothing to me. Even though the sun and bright birch trees light up the images, the stones, blues and ground give a nice calming effect. While these paintings are very affordable, they still require a great deal of creative effort, which you just can't put a price tag on. I'd also like to see a triptych or large horizontal scale of this composition ... perhaps in the near future.

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