Friday, November 30, 2012

Going Higher

Now that I have finished the arches on the right side, it is time to start on the upper levels.
This level has a cooler light than the main level and my palette has more blues and grays and less yellow. Right now I am working without a title. It would be nice to have one at this stage. With such a cerebral approach needed for the architectural elements, a title would aid in maintaining my emotional connection.  In lieu of having one, I am stepping back often to feel the space by seeing the entire painting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Near the altar, the "columns" are organ pipes. If you have ever heard a pipe organ in a large cathedral, it is a sound like no other. The bass pipes almost seem to permeate the listener on a cellular level as music fills the space. When you hear such an organ played by a master, the very air becomes filled with life.

I am now dreaming about columns. I paint them by day and dream about them at night. On to arches. I wonder if they will start showing up in my dreams.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Cathedral

Back to working on my cathedral piece.
Since my last post on it, I have painted the center ceiling section and darkened the arches between the two stained glass sections. (I thought it would be fun to save them for last.)

The most background ceiling section (the lowest in the painting), was particularly tricky. I want to have that feeling of light shining in through the upper windows and also some of the color of the upper stained glass window reflecting on the sides. If you look closely, you will see some bright orange and reds.

Next up were the columns. They just aren't something I can rush. Their bases will be painted when I work on the floor.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Guess Who Came to Dinner

Guess who came to Thanksgiving Dinner.

......suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -
                                                          Only this and nothing more."
                                                  The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe

Thanksgiving afternoon I heard a tapping. It wasn't loud, gentle you might say. I looked out the deck door to see if maybe a turkey was pecking on the deck. Looked out the garage door to see if we had a visitor. No one was outside the kitchen. Then I went to the front and looked out our door to the airlock. There, gently tapping on the outside of the airlock window was a pileated woodpecker!

What a treat. I saw one about 3 weeks ago but only briefly in the trees. A few fleeting sightings a year on our property is about average. To have one come calling was a wonderful Thanksgiving surprise.

(I apologize for the lousy photo. I was more interested in watching him than trying to get the shot.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


One of the things I enjoy most about doing shows is seeing and spending time with my fellow artists. They are a generous group and my artistic side is refreshed and inspired by them and their work.

An artist I particularly admire, Matthew Hillier, said something very nice about my work during the recent Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland. He said it was not formulaic. Elaborating, Matthew said I don't pick one idea and keep doing it over again. I try new things and the paintings seem real because I have been there and seen it. His words meant a lot to me and I hope I can live up to his generous comments.

Here I am stretching. This may be the most difficult painting I have tackled to date. It is 24" X 20" and I am glad it is not any smaller. To make it feel less daunting, I am moving around the painting and doing small sections. Once I work through the painting this way, I will look at it as a whole.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Her Shadow
6" X 7.5"
Original Oil

Sometimes titles for my paintings come easily and I have them in mind before I pick up my brush. Then there are times when I struggle or have multiple choices. Often I have to step back and see how I feel once I am finished with the piece.

This title might seem unusual. Here is a male lion and the title has a female pronoun. But, if you look carefully, you will see why I titled it Her Shadow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More small brush work

Cool Dip
4.25" X 10"
Original Oil

One stop on our Antarctic trip was Deception Island. This volcanic island is home to chinstrap penguins and a few gentoo penguins. Above is a pair of chinstraps which I watched for the good part of an hour. 
Continuing with miniatures, my little brushes had a work-out on this piece. I'll have this painting at the Waterfowl Festival which opens tomorrow, November 9th in Easton, Maryland.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Another miniature

5.75" X 9"
Original Oil

Several years ago at the Waterfowl Festival, three of us were up before dawn so we could take a drive down to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. With the show opening that evening and the previous day working to set-up my paintings, I was not enthused when the alarm sounded. As a matter of fact, I almost begged off.

It wasn't long before we were driving beside spent fields on the way to the Refuge when I spotted snow geese. I was so excited that I think I yelled out to stop and then we made our way down a side road. The light was lovely with the sun barely above the horizon.

I'm glad I got up early.