Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Birches in the Blizzard

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
- Oscar Wilde

I really do love this quote and am so glad I found it to share with you! Now that we are closing the door to one year and opening the window on another....many people think of 'resolutions' they'd like to achieve (usually having to do with weight). But think of the things in life that you are passionate about....are you happy with the direction your life is taking? None of us were born knowing how to run. Everything is achieved bit by bit - one small step at a time. Over time momentum DOES build up- and things begin to progress in the direction you want them to. So what are you waiting for? Take the next step (or the first step!) in the direction of your happiness.

Painting this snowy scene today, "Birches in the Blizzard" was such fun! For one thing I haven't opened the paints since the first week of December. Ugh- I felt like one lost & tormented soul! I have really missed the 'dailies' and am glad to get back in the groove. Today was a swirling blizzard outside all day long. I had sworn off trying to paint 'plein-air' in cold weather, but this was right outside my window! I could stay warm & comfortable & still paint the scene outdoors I was looking at, listen to the howling wind,and yes.....still feel (some of) the chill! Across the street there is a construction site (of which I deleted most of that stuff), but what caught my eye in all the swirling grays outside my window, was the sight of a few birch trunks, which appeared to be a warmer gray. The ground sloped off and even though it was a non-stop blowing mess of snow & fog, I could see color variations in the snow on the ground. These color variations are much easier to see when the sun is out shining on those crisp, clear brilliant days and casts strong shadows. The warm whites against the cool whites really stand out in that case. But even on the grayest days, it's possible to see these variations (when you aren't freezing to death in the blowing stuff!). I previously thought I'd never paint another winter scene, but this was actually quite fun! Perhaps this winter will bring new challenges to 'expand my vision' long as I'm in a warm, protected space to paint from!

Wishing you great happiness in this new year, 2009!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gathering Shells on a Crisp Day (Assateague National Wildlife Refuge)

10"x 10" oil on gallery wrapped Belgian linen (3/4" deep, sides painted), design carries over to side.

"The most important things in life aren't things."
- (author unknown)

Today's painting is called "Gathering Shells on a Crisp Day". This piece was done as a study for a much larger commission. The commissioned piece is in its new home & those memories are cherished by its owners. One of their favorite places to vacation is Chincoteague/Assateague National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern shore of Virginia. It is a place that has captured my imagination ever since I was a "horse-crazy" young girl. Now I go there every September for a plein-air "paint-out" & sale with other artist friends from Virginia. If this is a favorite place of yours to visit- this lovely piece would be a great way to honor those memories with loved ones! I'm offering some special auction prices in my ebay store for those last minute Christmas gifts!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cottage Garden Morning

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar)

One kind word can warm three winter months.
- Japanese proverb

Today's painting is called "Cottage Garden Morning". For those of you who really didn't get enough of summer, it was glorious here in CT this year. A good way to keep those thoughts in front of you is with a painting. A gentle reminder when winter lasts a bit too long for you, that summer will return as beautiful as ever. I'm offering some special auction prices in my ebay store for those last minute Christmas gifts!

I have just returned from my mom's house in FL after helping her with some repairs and "stuff like that" this past week. We got a lot accomplished this week, but not a bit of painting done by me. I'm happy to be home to get painting again AND get my Christmas preparations together. I missed the first snow fall of the season, and a gusher of a rain-storm. Thank goodness we didn't get the ice on our end of the state. I'm hoping those friends to the north of us have got their power back on- what a scary - awful mess! What a winter this is starting out to be!