Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blocking in the Background

At this stage, I am just blocking in the background. Not much to see. I do notice that the V formed in the small branches of the center far right is distracting by being evenly weighted. I will address it in the next step.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Walking in the Tundra

I have painted a number of caribou pieces from my WREAF trip to Labrador (see link on home page of, but only one bird. It is time to paint some songbirds from the trip.

As I looked over my reference photos, a group of images immediately brought to mind one of the first long walks in the tundra. The air was cool, the tundra starting to turn, and except for the wind, it was fairly quiet.

That is until we came across this flock of white-winged crossbills trying to grab seeds from tiny cones. They were in quite a hurry to stock up before heading south. As I think about them, I can almost smell the clean air and feel the wind on my face. Later that day I would see black bear and ptarmigan, but it was in watching these birds that the tundra began to seep into me.

As I play around with the composition, I notice it has a slight oriental feel. I am curious to see how the form and function play out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latest Painting

No, I am not trying to make a new age statement. This is how my latest painting Every artist has had paintings which don't work. We might have a great idea and somehow in its execution, it falls short. Or maybe the idea is not as brilliant as we thought. Sometimes we can keep playing with it and resuscitate the painting. Or if we put it aside for days, weeks, months or years a solution to the problem areas may present itself.

I didn't believe this was one of those times. I still like the idea and may revisit it, but this painting could not be saved. Yesterday I took my gesso and covered the painting. As I watched the hours I labored over it vanish in white, there was disappointment in the wasted time, but also a sense of relief and empowerment. This painting did not represent my work and I made the right choice.

Stay tuned for my next painting. It will have more color     ; )