Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Asian Maple Glow

Asian Maple Glow, Acrylic on 6"w x 6"h canvas

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

In painting landscapes I frequently browse the library and search the web for more information on trees. I love maple trees (and birch and evergreens and...) and I wanted to know if a Japanese Maple Acer palmatum could be grown in Minnesota. While they aren't hardy enough for Minnesota's cold winters, there is a similar Korean Maple Acer pseudosieboldianum which is a nice alternative for our cold winters here in the northland. I learned this thanks to the U of M's Extension website.

I'm attracted to the Japanese Maple's form, the branches and trunk twist and turn in many interesting ways. For my show, I decided to try some different compositions based on these beautiful Asian maple trees. So far, I like what's happening on the canvas. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cardinal Companions Triptych

Cardinal Companions Triptych, Acrylic on three 4"w x 4"h canvases

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

I've grown fond of this cardinal theme in the last several months. I wonder what would happen if I only painted cardinals. My work would be easily identified, and if that's the purpose, that would be great. But then I enjoy new subject matters too. What I do know is my cardinals disappear off gallery walls at a rate that surprises me. I'm grateful for the sales but more importantly, I'm grateful that people enjoy the cardinals and desire to collect them.

Perhaps that in itself would be reason to paint them for the rest of my art career.

More me, the cardinals have meaning, and I'm not exactly sure yet what that is, but I do know I see them representing true friendship and fellowship. In our modern world we have grown connected and disconnected at the same time ... and viewing these cardinal companions in the landscape, gathering together as they always have without the aid of computers and technology gives me a warmth and nostalgic feeling.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Emerald Birches

Emerald Birches, Acrylic on Canvas, 6"w x 6"h SOLD

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

This is one of several new works at the show that feature summer greens. Such a relaxing color scheme to work with. 79 and sunny here today, much like this birch forest. :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Calm Cardinal

At right: Calm Cardinal, Acrylic on Canvas, 4"w x 4"h, $25

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

Just a calm little cardinal. Perhaps today's post represents me at the moment. Last week I dropped off ten new works at Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth, then hung my show at The Vanilla Bean which features thirty works on canvas. Now I'm calm, finishing off a series of cardinals to compliment the work already hanging at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais. Art is an interesting combination of hurry up and wait ... but that makes it interesting, challenging and rewarding. I'm sure it won't be long until I'm in the midst of a flurry of activity, but for now, I'm calm, resting, reflecting on the work I've finished recently and thinking ahead to future paintings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Red Rocky Ridge

Red Rocky Ridge, Acrylic on Canvas, 12"w x 12"h, SOLD

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

A return to the simple Autumn landscapes that I love so much. The blue stones, red maples, evergreens in the background, and golden birch trees all work together to pack a color punch. I loved this one so much I also painted an 8x10 and 10x10 canvas along the same theme that will be posted here too in the coming week or two.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Captive Audience

Captive Audience, Acrylic on Canvas, 18"w x 6"h, $100

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

This painting is on a 3 to 1 horizontal scale which is a new size for me. I thought I would have some struggles with this scale, but this painting seemed almost too easy. Perhaps I was just having a good day painting, sometimes that happens, where you're in a natural rhythm and don't want to stop. This painting is one of the last to be painted for the show, and I imagine having a great time working in this scale down the road. The title, Captive Audience, refers to the two cardinals which apparently are very interested in what the cardinal on the right has to say. For me, I'm just enjoying the crisp white birch trees on the rich deep green background and the complimentary colored cardinals. Perhaps I'm one of the captive audience. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Emerald Birchland

Emerald Birchland, Acrylic on Canvas, 12"wx12"h, SOLD

Today's painting is the first of 25 new paintings from my Intimate Landscapes show July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. The show features many familiar landscapes that I've enjoyed painting over the last year such as bluestone birches, twilight maples, cardinals and more. The name of the show, Intimate Landscapes, comes from the small sizes of the paintings in this show. I've also incorporated many works that feature the color green. Today's post is an interesting take on the birch landscapes that I've grown so fond of. The evergreen ridge in the distance anchors this piece and the emerald green birch leaves in multiple layers of opacity complement the green foreground. I'm especially happy with the foreground, I love the shadows set off by the green on the burnt sienna colored forest floor. This is the first piece I started for this show, and ironically, it was the last one to be finished. Perhaps that's why I'm so happy with this painting, I put a lot of thought and effort into this one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Intimate Landscapes

This afternoon I'll head up the Scenic Hwy. 61 from Duluth to Two Harbors to hang my show titled Intimate Landscapes at The Vanilla Bean Café. This show is unique in that it features a large selection of smaller work ... or intimately sized work. The idea is that people can view a nice selection of work in recent themes of mine and also take the work with them as it will be easy to transport and there is a wide range of prices.

While the work is smaller is scale, there is a lot going on. I have many new subjects and colors and there is a unique cohesiveness to all the work. It will be fun to hang the show ... I've worked hard on this show through some of the hottest July weather I can ever remember and I'm looking forward to viewing the work all hung together ... and then sitting in a nice comfy chair in the shade with a large glass of lemonade. :)

The show can be viewed July 25-August 20 at the Vanilla Bean Café in Two Harbors, MN.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gold Birch Glow

Acrylic on 12"wx6"h canvas SOLD
Available at Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais, MN

While this painting features many elements I've been incorporating into my work as of late such as the birch trees, brown and gold foreground, rocks and shades of blue, I've been adding in the sun or moon to some of my work to get a feel for how a central focal point feels. I've always wanted to capture the feeling and emotion of the landscape and not draw attention to one specific element, so adding the sun to this piece has caused me to pause and return to it more than with my usual work. The sun and moon appear in many of the new works at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, and just may be appearing more in my work as time goes on, we'll just see. One thing I love about today's piece is the depth captured on such a small canvas. I just love the thought that you're able to view the lake and take in all these other elements at once ... perhaps it's the anticipation that you're approaching the lake and can see it off in the distance through the trees. The weather has been so hot lately, I'd love to go jump into the lake myself. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blue Superior Evening Triptych

Acrylic on 3-4"wx4"h canvases totaling 12"wx4"h, SOLD
Available at Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais, MN

While in Grand Marais, I remember watching the waves crash in to the rocks along Artist's Point. This little triptych is along the same subject, just not nearly as windy and wavy. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweet Maple Shadows Triptych

Acrylic on 3-4"wx4"h canvases totaling 12"wx4"h, $75
Available at Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais, MN

I just love painting these small triptychs. If you've followed my work you know I love painting images across several canvas panels, it's probably something about the horizontal scale. Today's piece is a simple series of three maples on three panels, shimmering and sparkling and casting long shadows across the sun speckled foreground. Sweet.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Autumn Evening Triptych

Acrylic on 3-6"wx12"h canvases totaling 18"wx12"h, SOLD
Available at Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais, MN

While I paint year-round, I frequently return to the Autumn season. I can see why, I love complimentary colors found in nature, and there is just something about a crisp Autumn day ... walking through a birch or maple forest with the leaves crunching beneath your feet as you walk under a brilliant golden canopy of leaves with blue skies and cool temperatures. Perhaps the July heat we've had recently has had me thinking about cooler weather, or it's just that I love to paint Autumn season themed landscapes. Today's landscape features birches and stones along Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. The sky and water are cool blue, the birches displaying their golden leaves, the ambient light sparkling and dancing off the leaves carpeting the foreground. I had a wonderful trip to Grand Marais recently, I'll have to upload a few photos I took while hiking out to Artist's Point soon. Please return daily for new work ... and keep cool! -A

Friday, July 13, 2012

New work at Tree to Tree in Two Harbors

"Birch Leaves" 4x4", $25
I'm excited to have some new work hanging at a super cool shop in Two Harbors, MN called Tree to Tree. The store sells comfy hammocks in a variety of sizes and colors. My kids love the fleece lined hammocks displayed in the store and I have a difficult time getting my kids out of the hammocks when it's time to leave!
Tree to Tree has two hammocks in the store that you can test drive, the hammocks are tied to some birch tree posts set up in the store.

"Lake Stones" 4x4", $25
Also available are some nifty birch candle holders, birch bird feeders, and several paintings, many of which are birch-themed. Three of my works have recently sold there, and the store has such a unique look and feel, almost as a northwoods cabin, that I'm happy to have my work there. Please stop in, the store is just down from the Vanilla Bean on Hwy. 61, you'll be glad you did ... boy, napping in a hammock sounds good to me right now, but I've got work to do, I'm busy painting new work for my upcoming show ... more details soon, please stop back. :)
"Placid Superior", 12"x6", $65

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Glimpse of an artist studio

I thought I'd pause today and post a little picture of where I paint and also give a glimpse of some work in progress from my upcoming show at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors titled Intimate Landscapes. The show runs July 24-August 20, 2012 ... which reminds me that I need to get my postcards and artist statement for the show finished up. :) The show's title reflects the scale of much of the work for the show, which are small, intimate landscapes. So many people have commented on my work and wanted to have one but didn't have the ability to take a large canvas on their road trip. So the work in this show will give the viewer intimate views into northland landscapes.

The works on my tabletop easel feature stout, old maple trees that are finished now, but at the time of this photo, just the burnt sienna base coats are visible. The trees represent a departure from my usual vertical maple and birch trees. It's just a direction I have to explore and see where it goes.

I love this photo ... it speaks a lot about my artwork and the process. The multiple works being painted at once ... the area is peaceful and quiet ... the orchids on the table behind the easel are reflecting off the woodwork ... the tea in the cup on the left is too hot to drink and is cooling off, just like the artist. :) I'm not the type of artist that takes a huge space and flings paint and canvas around with the music blasting. I love quiet, solitude, neatness. I don't need much space to create, however, I do have a couple rooms in the basement for prepping and varnishing canvases. I paint in a small sunroom off the living room, on an antique dropleaf table and sit in an antique chair, both passed down through my family through the years. Large canvases are painted on a large H frame easel that sits in the corner of the sunroom. Small works are created on this little easel, I love the easel and the windows where I set canvases to view and work on throughout the day.

Today, I won't be in this chair ... I'll be driving up the Scenic from Duluth to Grand Marais to visit some friends and view some new works at Sivertson Gallery by some of the greatest artists around (in my opinion) :) ... Betsy Bowen, Liz Sivertson, Ann Jenkins, Dave Gilsvik, Howard Sivertson, Albert Marana, Michael Sweere, Kellie Rae Theiss ... the list goes on. The amazing invention of the camera and internet can bring us images to view in the comfort of our homes, but you can't beat viewing original art in person. :)

For now, I'll dream about the next landscapes to paint, and will most likely be inspired by what I view on the road and in the galleries today. I'll bring my camera and sketchbook. God bless, -Aaron

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Autumn Ambience

Another piece available at Tree to Tree in Two Harbors is this diptych painted on two 10"x30" canvases. This work was completed around the same time as yesterday's Summer Solstice painting. Like yesterday's; this painting features deep colors with many of the same richness. With today's painting titled Autumn Ambience, I took the color depth a step further and applied color as it was from the light filtering through the birch leaves above. I especially like how the light effects turned out on the rocks. The ground has a nice sparkle, and I'm glad I kept the browns just a little toned down to feature the light effects in the birch leaves and the rocks. The distant pine ridges and blue sky feature a wide range of color value, yet again, I didn't want them to compete, but compliment.
... Perhaps this was one of those paintings I had in my heart and I wanted to stay out of the way and just let it happen ... I'm glad I did. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Solstice

"Summer Solstice" 36"wx24"h
This piece available at Tree to Tree in Two Harbors features a moon rising over a lake. It's one of those paintings that you don't merely glance at ... you pause to take it in. There are many shades of burnt sienna making up the highly textured foreground that anchors the birch trees. The moon rising over the lake steals the show,  with many golds sparkling and dancing across the water and sky. There is a distant dark blue tree ridge on the other side of the lake. I've created many pieces as of late with this deep blue and gold theme ... just something I felt I needed to do ... to explore complementary color and it's relation to the landscape. I will be posting more works along this theme this week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New work at Lizzards

"Gold Ridge" 6"w4"h

"Blue Bay" 6"wx4"h

Wow, have I a lot of catching up to do! I've been working at a feverish pace as of late, and I have several works I'd like to share that I've recently dropped off at the fine galleries that represent my work. Please stop back daily to see what's new! Here are a few more that are available at Lizzard's Art Gallery and Framing in Duluth, MN.
"Twelve Cardinal Triptych" 3-4"x4"canvases
"Sun Speckle Birches" 12"wx6"h