Friday, December 31, 2010

Taking Stock

Edge of the Field
8 x 10
Available at Huff Harrington Fine Art

I was going to write a post today about what I thought I had accomplished this year. It has been a very productive year for me in the studio, teaching and writing, showing and selling my work. But, I found myself much more interested in looking forward today than in the rear view mirror. And while I have laid out a whole list of goals for 2011 for the business and marketing side of my work, I am more focused right now on the actual work. I set some things in motion this year that I mean to build on in the coming year-more drawing, printmaking, bigger paintings and a renewed dedication to explore every field and woods, pond and stream here in my little corner of the world.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drypoint -The Pond

The Pond
Drypoint 4 3/4 x 4
(Copper plate, burnt umber etching ink, Arches paper)
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

I've been working on drypoints over the last week. I talked a bit about that process here and here. The copper plates I ordered finally came and I've enjoyed working on them. They are harder than zinc so the burr stands up better to repeated printing and holds the ink better. Plus they look absolutely gorgeous when they are inked. One of the things I am finding fascinating (and unexpected) is how much pleasure I get from both the technical and artistic parts of the process. In fact, I've come to realize that it's hard to make a distinction between the two. My goal is to find a vocabulary in this medium which reflects my aesthetic and makes the most of its special properties.

I'm offering this one in an edition of 10. Because the plate is re-inked and hand wiped each time, there are slight variations in each print (Whistler did it so I guess I can too!). You can click on the image and get a better idea of what the surface looks like. You can click here for purchase information.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Dawn Spills Over the Hill (2009)
10 x 10
Private Collection

As we celebrate this blessed season with family and friends, its also a time to be grateful for the blessings we've received over the past year. I want to thank all those who take the time to read this blog, my students and artist friends for their friendship, inspiration and camaraderie this year. And, as always, I am grateful to my collectors and galleries that represent my work for making it possible for me to make a living doing what I love.

My very best wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Memory Incarnate

Christmas Moon (2007)
6 x 6
Private Collection

Here's another small painting from the archives, this one done just a few months after I started this blog.

So, this week I've been reading A History of American Tonalism 1880-1920 by David Cleveland (which I mentioned here) . It's over 600 pages, a feast of scholarship and discussion which I've been devouring course by course. The author's attempt to not only provide new insights into the art and artists, but to create an entirely new lens through which to view Tonalism is impressive. I feel certain that when I am done I will have an even clearer understanding of how my own work fits within this rich tradition of landscape painting.

One of the things I stress to my more advanced students is the importance of working from memory. So, when I read these lines last night, all I could think was "Yes, exactly."

"Tonalist light is memory incarnate, memory filtered, memory infused, while the use of memory, the perfection of memory to render specific qualities of light was considered both a practical skill ... and a necessary discipline of the professional artist."

A History of American Tonalism 1880-1920
David Cleveland

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Morning Fog at the Pond (2008)
11 x 14

Here's another painting from the archives. The image is a bit larger than usual so if you click on it you can get a good idea of the what the surface layers of glazes and scumbles look like. My aim here-other than to exploit the luscious, subtle color harmonies-was to create an envelope of air, atmosphere and mood.

These are very much the color harmonies I am looking at these days- bits of warmth from dried grasses and leaves still hanging on, coupled with winter fogs or heavy leaden skies. So, I plan to revisit these motifs in the coming weeks.

I've finally posted my materials information over on my new site for online classes and workshops. In the next week or so, I'll begin posting some rather extensive reading lists on different topics too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's finally here!

Exciting news for fans of Tonalism! The long awaited History of American Tonalism finally became available this week. This 500+ page tome has been in the works for years (I preordered it from Amazon in April 2009!) and the publication date has been pushed back numerous times. So when it arrived yesterday I was thrilled. Christmas comes early!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Wayside Sacrament

November Sky
9 x 16

Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful.
It is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A few weeks ago I was driving home from the post office and saw this.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

drypoint-4th state
6 x 4

This is one of my drypoint efforts this past week, mostly just experimental to learn about making marks on the plate and how inking the plate in certain ways could result in different effects. I printed the plate a number of times and reworked it with the needle as well as varying the way I inked and wiped the plate.

I like the tonal qualities you can get by leaving some ink on the plate rather than just in the lines. Also, as I mentioned before, drypoint makes a more painterly line than etching because its composed of the line itself plus the burr that is made from the needle plowing through the plate. The ink actually catches in that burr, so it produces a less linear result when printed. I like that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

March Snow (2008)
6 x 6
Private Collection

Although this small painting from the archives is entitled March Snow, it seemed appropriate for the weather forecast- snow likely's chilly here in northeast Texas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sky Study (2009)
6 x 8
Private Collection

There are just a few spots left in the January online class The Painted Sky. Its all about learning to paint and compose beautiful atmospheric skies. Here's the class description:

The Painted Sky

For landscape painters, painting a believable sky means creating a sense of distance, atmosphere, light, and mood. This course is designed to give students the knowledge and techniques to paint beautiful atmospheric skies. In this course we will cover:
~ gradation of colors in the sky at various times of day
~ gradation of values in the sky
~ types of cloud formations and how to depict them
~ use of atmospheric and linear perspective to create believable skies
~ glazes and scumbling techniques
~ using a variety of edges in painting skies
~ composing skies for maximum effect

And here's the link to register.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Field (2008)
6 x 6
Private Collection

Another small piece from the blog archives.

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.

Andrew Wyeth

Like Wyeth, I prefer this season too. But, it seems to me the landscape actually reveals more this time of year. At least that's what I see. The landscape strips itself bare, things feel closer to the surface, raw, achingly beautiful. As artists we can use that.