Friday, March 27, 2009

March Snow 2008
6 x 6
Private Collection

Dogwood and redbud trees blooming, tornado warnings, and snow...ahhhh, springtime in northeast Texas! We aren't really supposed to get snow as this storm moves through, but temperatures are predicted to drop into the 30s. It feels like meteorological whiplash as spring comes to a screeching halt for a few days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Busy Week

Sunset Stream
30 x 30 oil on linen

Finally, after several months of puttering around with this painting, I finished it and shipped it off to Chicago. I'm happy with the final result and the presentation in the frame (although this image is blurry- low light and an unsteady hand). My dealer called to say he had put it in the big front window of the gallery.

In the midst of finishing up a commission and working with my online classes, I received an invitation to exhibit in a show at Blackheath Gallery in London! The catch is that the show opens at the end of April and they want six (thankfully, small) pieces. I am very happy about this opportunity to show my work in the UK. I had somehow managed to run completely out of my favorite linen, but a new roll arrived yesterday so I've prepared my panels and will start to work this weekend on the pieces for the show. The next few weeks will be very hectic!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Excavation

Evening Pool
12 x 12
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

Most of this week I've spent preparing for and working with my online classes. As always when I teach, I am learning a great deal. Aside from the horror of watching myself on video, there is much to be gained by having to explain yourself to your students. One artist in my tonalism class commented this week that the process (indirect painting) felt like thinking backward. The more I thought about that, the idea of an archaeological dig kept coming up, except in reverse - building the painting from the ground up, but all along keeping in mind what will remain visible (transparent), what will be hidden (opaque) and what will be obscured at some point in the future -creating an optically complex surface which suspends all those layers in a single perception. The viewer is, hopefully, excavating visually, peering through layers of paint and time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Place Names

Twilight at Honey Grove Creek
10 x 10
Private Collection

This morning I went to our local hardware store/lumber yard. Its one of those great old fashioned hardware stores with wood floors and at least one of everything you need. There are always two or three guys hanging around the counter. Its a good place to find out about the name of a creek or whose place that is down the road, or even how long its going to rain. These days, those are all things I find it necessary to know. Although my landscapes are not in any way direct transcriptions of particular places, they are a distillation of this place. And, it seems that often, unexpectedly, less specificity of detail leads to a richer specificity of place.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Notice What You Notice

Morning Haze
6 x 8

Private Collection

Last week someone asked me how I choose the subjects I want to paint. The easy answer is- they choose me. I paint the things that I notice. It sounds simple, but it took me many years to figure that out. I have a good friend who paints the figure and portraits. She notices faces but refers to anything more than a foot high with leaves as "shrubs". I, on the other hand, am fixated on shapes and negative shapes made by trees. I think we are somehow hardwired to notice certain things. So, its just a matter of paying attention-notice what you notice.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Stream
8 x 10
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

Yesterday when I drove into town, I noticed that my neighbor's pasture was not only green but littered with new Angus calves. Today my pear tree is covered with blossoms. Spring is most definitely here. Even though most of the trees are bare and the fields are still ochre colored, that earthy spring smell is in the air.

I've spent most of this week getting ready for my virtual classes, the first of which starts tomorrow. There have been a flurry of sign ups this week, so there are just a few spots left in each one.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hayfield Moonrise
10 x 12
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

Posting this image is perhaps a bit of wishful thinking. But the weather has been gyrating from one extreme to the other this past week- it was late autumn two days ago, spring the day before that, and winter today. Yesterday morning in the space of two hours I watched my rosebud tree go from bare to budding. Are the trees confused? I think not. Some deep sort of knowing keeps them in tune. I could use a little of that.

Last call for Virtual Classes- the first one starts this Friday.