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. $108 plus $10 shipping and handling.
Available to buy through my Daily Paintworks shop.
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 – SOLD
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
A blanket of white snow on the ground makes for exciting graphic compositions, but we don’t often have such scenes to paint here in Texas. The Monahans sand dunes offer similar opportunities, though. There’s a storm brewing in this watercolor. Just as I set up to record my view en plein air, a sudden windstorm blew through – my easel and kit were blown off into the dunes, and my eyes, ears, and car were filled with sand! This painting was done from the vivid memory, safe home in the studio.
Monahans Sand Dunes – watercolor SOLD
I don’t think it’s necessary to travel to spectacular locations for Plein Air subjects, but if I happen to be where the scenery is grand, I’m sure going to paint it. These are some well-known landmarks from Big Bend.
There might have been a post about this piece previously, before I added the background. It began as a botanical study of a dried branch from my jimpsonweed that echoed the shape of a calla lily, and remained in that state for a few months as I debated whether to keep it as a botanical or turn it into something else. I began thinking of the branch as not just resembling the calla lily, but as actually changing into the lily form through the process of death. The lily also put me in mind of brides and nuns.
The background was added to associate my subject with the 12th century abbess, artist, and composer Hildegard of Bingen. In Hildegard’s thought viriditas, or greening, shows the power of the divine in creation. I decided to have my withered branch levitating in front of a background pattern of acanthus leaves.
This piece was juried into the 53rd Southwestern Watercolor Society Membership Exhibition, where it won the Watercolor Artist/Creative Catalyst 2 award.