Wednesday, November 27, 2013


"Winter Chickadee" 4"w x 4"h

"Strike A Pose" 4" w 4"h
Featured here today are some birds everyone loves, chickadees. These little feathered friends have the most friendliest of songs which goes something like this: chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee ... You can get away with this if you're a cute little northern Minnesota songbird. I know if I walked around all day singing my name, people might think I'm strange, certainly annoying.

But these little fellas are sure fun to paint, they are the same color and contrast as the birch trees they rest upon, and the color comes from the background. Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais has ten new paintings of chickadees and six cardinals that will be featured on this blog in the coming week, you may also find them online here. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee....

Please contact Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN for more information on these paintings.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Golden Age

"Golden Age" 60"w x 48"h
Today's painting, titled Golden Age, is perhaps the largest I have ever attempted. The photo of course does not do this piece justice, the scale is just too immense to be captured in an image that's a mere 4" or so wide on a computer screen. But the image does represent the theme and color of this piece. The birches rise high above the landscape, their trunks diminishing in size as they ascend, giving a feeling of height. The trees have golden leaves that are reflecting the sun's rays in a dazzling bright gold that dances across the tree tops. The foreground is deep and moody, a rich brown fading to black against a deep cobalt sky that gives the birch trunks the contrast they need to pop off the canvas. The large scale of this piece was intimidating at first, but as the days went by I embraced the challenge and remembered the love of large scale work I have. Perhaps this is the beginning of a golden age of large paintings.
Please contact Lizzards Gallery for more information on today's painting.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Keeping Watch

"Keeping Watch" 6"w x 6"h $65
Here's another piece from DailyPaintworks, which is an online artist community of daily painters. I paint daily, I don't always finish a painting a day ... I tend to have several works in progress at any given time. But it's still fun to browse through other painter's online portfolios. On a side note, I almost got mowed down by a woodpecker on my morning walk today. This guy was about 12" wide at the wingspan, with a black body and a red head. After my heart beat went back down to normal, I noticed he would be a great bird to paint. Now that I'm wide awake thanks to an over-territorial woodpecker, I'm off to the easel on a nice sunny Monday morning.
This piece is available at DailyPaintworks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Red & Green

"Red & Green" 6"w x 6"h
It's been a while since I posted something to the DailyPaintworks website, so I thought I'd upload a couple paintings. It's fun to chat with other artists and get feedback on work and encourage one another. I've let that artistic community slide and it's funny how quickly you can feel isolated even in this age of social media. OK, I may be waxing poetic but this piece is titled Red & Green and can be purchased at DailyPaintworks. Stay warm! -Aaron

Friday, November 22, 2013

Forever in Blue

"Forever in Blue" 7"w x 5"h
Not too long ago a flock of blue jays decided to make a pit stop at my house. They chased away all the birds and were quite loud, loud enough to get my attention and to wake up the dog too. They are quite impressive when viewed up close as they are larger than most song birds. Their feathers are a brilliant blue and if I was a bird I'd steer clear of blue jays too. They didn't stay too long, they were just passing though, but it was something I'll always remember. At one point, there were at least a dozen by my bird feeder. Today's painting titled Forever in Blue features a blue jay on a cobalt blue background. Just a simple two color piece, you don't need to add much when the subject matter is as striking as a blue jay.

Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information on today's painting.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Distant Maples & November Lake

"Distant Maples" 12"w x 9"h
"November Lake" 6"w x 6"h
I was pleased to hear that a few pieces had sold at Your Art's Desire Gallery recently including the one above titled Distant Maples. The other piece on the left is titled November Lake and while they have completely different subjects, I thought I'd feature them together as the colors complement each other very well, and I thought they would look good together. I'll often pair a couple pieces together when thinking about a larger painting. I did this when I painted Somewhere North of Here which was a personal favorite of mine. That piece featured the moon on a lake viewed through the trees, just like these today. When I work small, I often wonder why as I love to work large, but I realize that working small is a great way to nail down what works on a large scale, and it gives people a chance to collect my work. Just like my work with it's many small brushstrokes making up the bigger picture, the small things are often more important than I realize.
Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information on today's painting.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cardinal Skies

"Cardinal Skies" 10"w x 8"h
I intentionally added some texture to this cardinal painting titled Cardinal Skies. I also painted this to match the colors outside ... the warm browns of the leaves still clinging to the trees before winter, and the deep blue skies of the sky that so quickly loses it's light this time of the year. The crimson reds of the cardinals and the whites of the birch bark have texture in the thick paint that can be seen on this image. Normally I don't care for texture in my work, I prefer to glaze the paint thin so that layers beneath can be viewed through each brush stroke. But every so often I try something new. I feel as though by intentionally trying to apply the paint thick I lose the character of the distinctive brush stroke that employ. Trying new techniques, colors and compositions is what makes painting fun and challenging. Even when you work in series such as I do you'll find new ways to add creativity and life to your work.

Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information on today's painting.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blue Ridge Maples

"Blue Ridge Maples" 12"w x 9"h
This painting titled Blue Ridge Maples is an interesting take on a view of the forest I'm attracted to. The simple vertical lines of the tree trunks and the ridges seen off in the distance. Incorporating these elements can quickly make a painting take on an abstract feel. While that's not my intention, it is always fun when it happens ... when a painting takes on a life of it's own and you wonder 'how did that happen?'. The creative side of art always amazes me, when the artist lets the creativity flow.

Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information on today's painting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Colorful Forest

"Colorful Forest" 10"w x 8"h
... Just a colorful Autumn birch stand in some quiet secluded northern Minnesota forest...

Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information on today's painting.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Red Carpet, Cardinal on Gold & Your Art's Desire Gallery

"Red Carpet" 8"w x 10"h
"Cardinal on Gold" 5"x7"
I'm pleased to announce that my work is now available in Minnetonka, MN at Your Art's Desire Gallery. While I've often thought about having my work somewhere in the twin cities as that's where I grew up, nothing seemed to fit just right when I contacted some galleries in the area so I just put it on the back burner figuring someday it would happen if it's meant to. So when Your Art's Desire contacted me to see if I'd be interested in having some work at their gallery, I was pleasantly surprised as the gallery isn't too far from my hometown of Plymouth, MN. The gallery is located next to everything you could possibly need: a restaurant, gas station and Dairy Queen. What could be better than good food, art, and ice cream? ;) There are currently a dozen or so works of mine there, along with a nice selection of work from the talented artists they represent.  Please contact Your Art's Desire for more information and feel free to stop on by if you're in the area ... for art ... and ice cream.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Land of the Cobalt Birches

"Land of the Cobalt Birches" 8"w x 10"h
I titled this painting Land of the Cobalt Birches as it accurately describes the color and subject of this piece. This may seem like a simple painting, really, but it's an exercise in color value and composition when you really get down to it. The birch trees with their stark white bark stand out against a rich cobalt blue background that incorporates a cobalt blue ridge line. The foreground cobalt blue rocks repeat the color and depth of the background, using that wonderful composition theme of repetition. The light descends from above in all three cobalt elements, so that they stand out from each other. Perhaps I'm drawn to this theme due to it's simplistic minimalistic nature which fits so well with who I am, but I also know I'm drawn to the color of a twilight lit landscape. It seems as though when I walk through the galleries now that everyone is painting bright paintings ... and then there's my subtle quiet work. Perhaps I stand out a bit, but then again, that's just me. Please contact Lizzards Gallery for more information on today's pieces.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Golden Birch Stones & Sienna Birch Row

"Golden Birch Stones" 24"w x 12"h $300
"Sienna Birch Row" 10"w x 8"h, $85
Today it's a two for one special. I thought I'd feature these pieces together as they were painted together, so it just made sense. These both have burnt sienna as the predominant color and birch rows as the subject. I think I'm drawn to the burnt sienna as it's such a comforting warm brown color, and I can't help but try to work it into every painting. I really enjoy how the Golden Birch Stones painting has dappled lighting throughout the stones and the birches. I used to work on blending the white bark dark to light, but now I focus more on the visual texture, which means I stagger the final white brushstrokes and it gives the bark a life of it's own, very striking. I'm working on a large canvas now where I'm going to try the same technique, I feel as though I'm on to something, we'll see. Lots of art to share here on this blog, please stop back soon! -Aaron Please contact Lizzards Gallery for more information on today's pieces.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


"Aspire" 12"w x 24"h
This piece was painted alongside another painting which I featured on yesterday's post titled Ever Reaching. This painting, titled Aspire, has one white pine as it's focal point, along with five maples on a ridge behind it. While I added in my usual elements, such as rocks, shadows, color, etc ... I really focused on the branches of the white pine in this piece. As I've been driving around Duluth, I've been noticing how interesting the forms of the white pines are. They don't grow straight or predictable branches such as you'd find in a spruce. Their branches jut out every which way, often with larger branches in the middle of the tree, and small branches above and below. Perhaps that's why I like the white pines, they're not afraid to be different. Logging in northern Minnesota has taken it's toll on these majestic trees, but you'll still find them in areas too difficult to reach by foot, or in the yards of homes built over a hundred years ago. Please contact Lizzards Gallery for more information on today's piece.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ever Reaching

"Ever Reaching" Lizzards Gallery, November 2013, 30"w x 24"h
Today's painting titled Ever Reaching is among several new works at Lizzards Gallery in Duluth, MN. This piece in particular I really enjoyed due to it's background. There are two cobalt blue ridges in the distance, and I had fun with adding light color value to the blues as I was finishing off the background. The blues complement the colorful maples in the foreground which have a brighter than usual color value to them. The subject of this piece is the three majestic white pines along the foreground ridge, but I just enjoyed every aspect of this painting, adding bright color and contrasting that with the deep foreground shadows cast by the trees. Please contact Lizzards Gallery for more information on today's piece.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Twilight Forest Maples

"Twilight Forest Maples" 18"w x 18"h
This piece titled Twilight Forest Maples is from a recurring theme of mine that I've titled 'Twilight Maples'. One of the first landscape ideas I had was one that had a stand of maple trees with the twilight sky in the distance backlighting the maples so that they cast long golden shadows across the foreground. This theme is one I return to now and again, when I'm lacking inspiration, this theme is like a warm fire on a cold rainy day. Perhaps one day I'll feel as though I've reached the end of this series, but it hasn't happened yet, and I'm planning on painting a large scale on this theme in the coming weeks. TGIF!

This painting featured today is part of my Fall Forests show which may viewed now through mid December, 2013 at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, MN.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Orange Forest Maples

"Orange Forest Maples" 18"w x 18"h
Yet another piece from my Fall Forests show, this one is titled Orange Forest Maples. The maple trees around northern Minnesota have the most interesting colored leaves in the Autumn season. You'll have bright yellow, gold, orange, red, brown, and every color in between right next to each other. Sometimes I wonder if the trees are trying to out color the one next to it. :) The maple tree in my back yard finally decided summer was over this week and turned bright yellow ... dropping it's leaves at the same time. It is the first week of November after all lol. Well, the painting featured here today is a playful take on maples at a river, with the stones in the water sparkling more subtly than some others in this series. There are distant colorful ridges, but the subject is the river, and the stones have been quite a challenge for me. I've been adding little amounts of blues to each, giving each stone a look and feel of it's own. I'll continue to explore this theme until I feel like I've captured what I'm endeavoring to say visually. One thing's for sure ... the maples in this piece want you to notice their orange leaves.

This painting featured today is part of my Fall Forests show which may viewed now through mid December, 2013 at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, MN.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn Forest Lake

"Autumn Forest Lake" 18"w x 18"h
This past summer I went fishing a few times on lakes north of my home and was outsmarted by the fish as usual. I did manage to catch a few sunnies and pumpkinseeds though, which was fun as they remind me of childhood fishing adventures. While I was in the boat, I was enjoying the shorelines of the lakes as they offered a nice selection of rocks, trees, shrubs and sky to gaze at. I took many photos and a couple friends gave me a hard time about it, but that's ok, I like the reference photos even if I don't work directly from them, as the photos will trigger ideas and give me inspiration when I'm staring at a blank canvas. Today's piece is one of many that is inspired from those fishing trips. This one, titled Autumn Forest Lake, features thin bright birch trees on a deep cobalt blue background. Autumn is in the air as the shrubs along the rocky shoreline are decked out in blazing color. The color divides the painting in thirds, and the sky and water sparkle as if trying to catch your attention. If only I could catch those fish ....

This painting featured today is part of my Fall Forests show which may viewed now through mid December, 2013 at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, MN.