Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sacred Spaces

"Sacred Spaces", 9x12". oil on gallery wrap canvas

"A painter shows me what he painted, 
but an artist shows me why she painted."
Clint Watson

Here is a little slice of sacred space in our home. What's sacred about it? It's right smack dab at the heart of our home, and the first thing to grab your eye as you enter the front door. It's a part of our living space full of chairs and couches where family and friends gather to share.

Our most recent stray, sits perched atop my grandmother's wooden trunk ready to pounce on our unsuspecting chihuahua. We have used this trunk for years to store childhood Halloween costumes, grandma's once beautiful silk gown, boa and lacy robe, dance recital costumes, pom-poms and cheerleading uniforms, pirate swords, ruby slippers, princess crowns and fairy wings. It's a treasure chest sure to produce screams of delight and excitement for bored grandchildren on rainy days. 

Nothing in our small 70s home matches, nor is it fancy, or expensive, but rather an eclectic collection of hand-me-downs from parents and grandparents. Pieces of furniture wounded over the many years with scars, scratches and nicks, yet somehow healed and made whole by the memories they bear. 

I loved painting the natural light—creeping in like fog through the north facing paned windows of the french door—silently sweeping across oak floors buffed in chalky reflections of cool morning light. 

The key role here is played by the little table lamp casting rays of luminous warm light from the focal point of the painting; a beacon to all who stop by for a visit, perhaps to share in a glass of wine, and bask in the rich abundance of our humble abode. 

Thanks for stopping by,

To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Saatchi Gallery • Fine Art America

Monday, July 17, 2017

Martha and Mary

"Martha and Mary"
12x9" Oil on gallery wrap canvas

"There is something joyous in the elegies
Of birds. They seem 
Caught up in a formal delight,
Though the mourning dove whistles of despair."
—Galway Kinnell 

Once again I find myself drawn to the stillness of early morning light. Here the breaking sun illuminates two graceful swans musing on a glassy sheet of shallow water. 

Busy Martha on the right, fluffing a magnificent spread of feathers, rustles about in self-imposed tasks of the new day. Scanning the horizon is she preparing to take flight over the expanse of inland waterways in search of a nesting site? Or, perhaps she's heading off to explore muddy marshes for juicer roots and tubers, or to scavenge for greener grasses and plump morsels of grain from fields nearby?

Meanwhile, juxtaposed sits humble Mary. She floats effortlessly, suspended without a ruffle unassumingly in the shadow of Martha's wings. Caught in motionless wonder and total surrender to the fullness of trust and abandonment, she pauses with eyes closed, absorbed into the silence where in praise she gives thanks for another day. 

To me, painting is a delicate balance between both the seeing and the doing, not remaining in either place too long is paramount. Moving back and forth between the mystery of a subject and the active steps of mixing paint and placing the spots of shape and color—I not only see, but also sense and feel—keeps it real. Without the Mary, the Martha would be lifeless. 

Thanks for reflecting,

To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Saatchi Gallery • Fine Art America

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just a Chair on a Porch

"Just a Chair on a Porch"
14x11" Oil on 1.5" gallery wrap canvas

"The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity." —Walt Whitman

Stripped down to the barest necessities for guaranteed joy and contentment, give me a front porch with a chair to sit in silence and greet a neighborly morning knocking at my door. 

Coffee cupped in hand...sliver of melting moon fading...first chirps of the winged, chanting stir of wind caressing cheeks...last stand of shrinking shadow...sunburst on the horizon, duck the first warm hurls of orange and gold rays. Morning has broken!

Photographers: Moira Fitzgerald & Yann Meersseman

The reference shown for my painting was another amazing image found on Vintage Colors blog. I was totally swept into the quiet stillness captured by the simplicity of the morning scene. However, as you can see, I went to town taking huge liberties with pumped up colors and values pulled from my imagination to match the intensity of the light and serenity that infused me. 

In this latest piece, I decided to challenge myself by taking a different approach. I usually try to match the same colors and values to what I see, but this time my goal was to try punching up the warmth and coolness of the light and hues for added mood and mystery. I have been working on this one for some time and hit many dead ends along the way. I had to wipe my canvas off many times and start over until I began seeing on my canvas what I was feeling about the image, rather than what I was simply seeing. 

For me painting is a war, a battle of push and pull, trial and error to the very end. I now stand with white flag in hand...a truce declared. I am at peace...and just wish I could plop into that inviting chair. 

Thanks for the visit,

To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Saatchi Gallery • Fine Art America

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Portrait of La La's Garden

"A Portrait of La La's Garden"
oil on 1.5" gallery wrap canvas
"Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it. Rumi

This latest painting is of a very special garden where I visited last summer. I was commissioned by my friend, Angela, to paint a spot in her mother, La La's, garden hugged in on all sides by adobe walls nestled into high desert hills overlooking the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's here where homes magically and seamlessly blend into the rough dry, rocky backdrop like chameleons. 

Finding a scene to paint inside this hidden garden was hardly a problem as I meandering through lush gardens filled ever so delicately with a vast assortment of tall slender grasses, plants, and flowers, tucked in among shimmering aspens, pools and fountains of trickling water and rocks. Every element of the design was woven together into a patchwork of hue and texture that sparkled with light playing into shadow. 

I spent a good deal of time taking photos at different locations and times of day for reference, but finally narrowed my selection to this enchanted, mid-morning scene. The air was dry and cool with the promise of a bright sunny day as billowy white clouds churned up on the horizon. What finally won me over to this image was the beautiful path covered in soft dappled light that lured my eye through cool deep viridian shadows and then splashed onto the brilliant lime green walkway leading to the birdbath perched in full light of day. 

It was obvious La La's garden had been nurtured and developed over many years of hard work and tender loving care. I understood immediately why Angela loved this meticulously manicured paradise. This, the garden she photographed so frequently, had now become her garden. As Alice Walker said so perfectly, "In search of my mother's garden, I found my own."

Happy Mother's Day!


To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Saatchi Gallery • Fine Art America

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Salutations to Sibs" SOLD
36x24" oil on gallery wrap canvas

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. 

—Khalil Gibran

I have been a lost ship over most of the past year, adrift from paints and canvas, but happy to be firmly back in port of studio with brushes as oars, anchored firmly in hand. 

Family took precedence last April as my 93-year-old mom came to live with us. Her stay turned out to be a short final voyage as she sailed off into the ether of sunset at the end of September. We were honored to care for her those last months of her life, as this is how families love each other. 

Toni Morrison said, “Your need a whole community to raise a child” but to care for a dying parent, I say, takes an entire family. This is what ultimately led me to this painting “Salutations to Sibs.”

I wasn't consciously aware of what was actually drawing me to paint this alluring sunrise from Martha’s Vineyard. It was only after I finished the piece, that I was struck by how much the harbor scene reminded me of my family each one dropping their anchor to tend to mom in many different ways. 

Boats moored at bay seemed the perfect metaphor for family. Our fleet is composed of a large variety of crafts, some strong and secure, some calm, soulful and gentle, others steadfast and reliable. Siblings may sail through life on different bodies of water scattered around distant shores, yet will always tether together when the day is over, or seas turn into rough stormy waters.

It seems appropriate to post this piece on Valentine’s Day to honor the eight loving vessels in my marina including Bob, Debby, Kitsy, Barb, Mary, Julie, Lolly and Dash. 

I love you all!  

To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Saatchi Gallery
• Fine Art America