Thursday, August 29, 2013


Oil on Stretched Linen

I have been reading a big hefty book this summer entitled "A History of Tonalism: 1880-1920".  It isn't the kind of book that I would read cover to cover.  It is the kind where I read some and then ponder on the morsels.  In it are beautiful examples of the great American Tonalist works by artists such as George Inness, Homer Dodge Martin, John Henry Twatchtman and James McNeill Whistler.  

All of these visual delights are interspersed with the philosophies of the day by Emerson, Thoreau and Darwin.  American Tonalism came about after the Civil War.  At that time, the nation was grieving and was trying to come to grips with the horrors of loss.  As a result, there came the philosophy that Spirit is in the landscape.  And that Spirit was most apparent and visible during the Magic Hours, such as dawn, sunset, twilight and night.  

It was a time of renewal and hope.      

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Evening Reflections

Evening Reflections
Oil on Stretched Canvas
18x36 inches

We're in the middle of summer already, hard to believe.  I love the sounds of the outdoors at this time of year, when it's cool enough to turn the air conditioner off and open the doors and windows.  Mostly it's the sounds of the cicadas buzzing.  Like a long exhale.

The long horizontal format in this painting is somewhat new to me.  I plan on going more in this direction with even bigger long, horizontal canvases.  This size reminds me of an actual window in a room.  

Now there is lots of time for painting in my little sun room studio.  Last year at this time, it was so busy with all the wedding preparations.  So I paint to the sound of cicadas singing.   

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dawn's Light

Dawn's Light
Oil on Linen Covered Panel

One of the best parts of summer, I believe, is getting up with the sun.  I prefer open windows in summer.  That way the sounds of the birds wakes me up before first light.  There is a kind of spiritual beauty to watching the sun rise at the start of a new day.  

Like opening a present.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Warm or Cold Weather

Evening Landscape
Oil on Cradled Panel

This time of year I enjoy the cool of the evening.  Today reached into the low nineties.  My seasonal clothes are stored in my mother's cedar chest, which I inherited from her.  Out came the shorts, sleeveless tees and sandals.  I said farewell to my favorite sweaters until next autumn.  

Even though I paint mostly warm weather scenes, I love the cooler months when I get to wear boots, scarves and denim jeans.  It seems most people will describe themselves as a "warm weather person" or a "cold weather person".  

How would you describe yourself?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Deepening the Mystery

Sweet Evening
Oil on Canvas

What makes me want to paint?  There are days when I stand in front of the easel, lost in thought, as I scoop the paint up on my brush and onto the canvas.  I can do this for hours, not realizing just how much time is going by.  For me, it's a process of entering into the painting itself and seeing where it will go.  Most of the time, I'm surprised at the result.  The painting is rarely what I initially had in mind.

I imagine it is the same for other people, whatever the creative endeavor.  Writing, playing a musical instrument, working in textiles, cooking, building furniture, etc.   We all get lost in the creative process. If I go over a week without painting, I just don't feel "right".  It's what I do.  And I hope to still be painting when I'm 90 years old.

May you all be blessed with enjoying the creative process during 2013!

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
- Francis Bacon