This was a warm-up for the plein air session in my last post. The subject was a heuchera that had just come home from the garden center. This variety is called “Champagne”, so I’m going with that for a title. I love the colors in these leaves – they emerge a combination of pale orange and magenta, and age to a subtle green and buff.
Champagne – 6×6 inches, acrylic and gouache on panel
North Haven Gardens kindly invited me to do some painting at their nursery today. There was a gorgeous abundance of blooms, as you would expect. I thought I’d better hurry up and paint the poppies first, before they are over. I’ll be going back again for more blossoms.
Poppies – 6×6 inches, acrylic and gouache on panel
The title of this painting doesn’t suggest a fantasy landscape. It’s a real place, and Enchanted Rock is its real name.
Enchanted Rock – 6×6 inch acrylic and oil on panel.
This is a little waterfall in the Dallas Arboretum that is surrounded by Japanese maples. I wanted to bring out the vital freshness of the new spring growth in those water plants. They glowed.
Garden Spring – 6 x 8 inch acrylic and oil on panel
I was honored to be invited to participate in the exhibition “View from the Art Village 50-Year Retrospective” at the Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery. The show was curated by Nancy Cohen Israel and celebrates 50 years of the Braniff Graduate School at the University of Dallas. I received my graduate degrees at UD and am thankful for the program as well as the opportunity to exhibit there again after all these years.
I’ll be showing this little acrylic piece.
Snow White – 4.5 x 7 inches, acrylic on paper
This is closer to my current usual subject matter: typical suburban landscapes. I noticed this birdhouse with the winter tree branch pattern when walking the dog early one morning. At that time the house was empty.
I like my results when I come at shapes kind of sideways, either by removing paint or by negative painting, rather than painting them directly. In both cases, forms are revealed incidentally when the shapes around them are defined. In this painting, it’s the empty space of the sky holes that received the heaviest application of paint. It may not show well in the photo, but in real life it’s the abstract empty spaces that seem to advance.
Vacation Home – 8×8 inches, acrylic and oil on panel.
Another one of the little landscapes. This is another of those “spontaneous” landscapes. I kind of think the spontenaity is in the way the paints arrange themselves, not in me. I can’t help but see things I recognize in the shapes the water and paint make.
In the Shade – 6×6 inches, acrylic and oil.
Lately I have been working on some little landscapes using acrylic and water soluble oils. They really are little – this one is only 5×7 inches. Acrylic is great for establishing a base painting with lots of watery flow. Then a layer of the oil was sloshed on and the painting completed by wiping out, scratching, or stippling away the paint from the lighter areas.
This particular one is what I have seen called a “spontaneous” landscape. Developing it was a lot like seeing castles and animals in clouds – the way the paint settled and arranged itself suggested the landscape forms. So the scene does not exactly exist anywhere but is certainly based on my experience of walking along dirt roads when the grass is crispy and dry, as it so often is in the middle of our country.
Dry Grass – 5×7 inches, acrylic and oil
My journal is more like a series of small plein air paintings than sketches or visuals that include words. Usually I have worked in watercolor or gouache. Since I’ve been working more with acrylic I thought I’d give it a try, and have really enjoyed the results. The results look quite different from the other water based media – richer and juicier. You can handle it dark to light, like oils, and sometimes that is just the easiest way to go.
The featured image is from the dog park. That dog isn’t mine, and it wasn’t hers, either. I liked the two furry coats together.
Here is another acrylic page.
This piece is based on some narcissus flowers that are past their prime. The way the blossoms dried, they looked as if they were facing into a wind.
Winds of Change – approx. 22×30 inches, watercolor