Saturday, November 26, 2016

Corn Maiden Moon

Corn Maiden Moon
Acrylic on an old cabinet door
14" X 10.5"
A showery day—late summer, creeping into fall—and I was headed home for the day. The sky was a cornucopia of cloud shapes: billowy towers, veils of purple and gray, and swathes of white, slate, and lavender—all layered across the deepening blue. One of the bands shifted and there was a brilliant pearl of a fat, full moon.  

I gasped and fumbled for my phone, hoping to snap a photo out the side window of the car. Of course, there was not one single red light to be had when I needed one, so at great peril and much scrabbling, one hand juggling my phone, the other steering the car, I managed to get a lopsided, blurry shot of the sky without crashing into anyone on the highway. Yes, art can be dangerous.

Can you guess why I called it Corn Maiden Moon?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Coming Soon: Art

Really! Moving has been consuming, but the studio is finally in workable condition.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A New Year’s Snow

A New Year's Snow
12" X 9"

Last year, we didn’t have a white Christmas. Instead, we had a white New Years. So, early that morning, having gone to bed well before midnight, off we went to explore our new home blanketed in snow. It was clear, cold, and very quiet. The smart folks were still at home snuggled up to a cup of coffee. The world was ours and it was beautiful: snow banners billowing off the La Plata peaks, showers of sparkle coming off the trees, and an intense blue sky emerging as the storm blew out. 

We felt the joy of a hopeful year ahead of us— filled with anticipation of change and good things to come—our unfolding move, finding our place in a new town, perhaps starting to build a home in the spring. We had no hint of the challenges we would face in the coming year. 

Come this December, it snowed and snowed, giving us the white Christmas we all hoped for. I watched the snow and worked on this painting—thinking about how we would say a resounding farewell to the trials of 2015 and pin our hearts to a new year with fresh hopes and dreams.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Unexpected Result

Fall Reflections
12" X 6"
Acrylic on Canvas

I returned riverside to capture the Red Cliffs in the lowering sun. In my last painting session there, the afternoon light and shadows caught my eye and I made a mental note to return to the same spot. I was eager to put paint to canvas when I arrived.

Though the river at my back flowed effortlessly, things weren’t moving as well with the painting. I struggled with the angle I’d chosen, fighting to find the right shapes and values. The afternoon grew surprisingly hot and I could genuinely use the excuse “the sun was in my eyes”, because as I struggled with light, shadows, and glare—on and off the canvas—the sun marched over my left shoulder and into my eyes. 

Finally, I moved into the shade, next to the river where I got a clear look at the mess I’d made and began pondering my next step. Something wasn’t quite right. Later, when I showed the painting to Clint, he pointed out the resemblance of the rock folds to a female body part. Since then, that’s all I see when I look at it. Consequently, the painting has been relegated to the “do-over” pile.

I was nearly out of day as I daydreamed to the gurgle of the river and gathered up my brushes. I looked out over the river, struck by the foliage along the far shore glowing gold, orange, and lemon yellow in the last light of the sun. The brilliant reflections in the water flamed against the encroaching mossy-black shadows of the coming evening.

I knew I didn’t have much time—I grabbed another canvas, quickly squirted out a few more colors onto my palette, and got to work. I painted until the sun dipped behind the ridge. The vivid colors gave way to soft edges and muted tones as the sky cooled to twilight.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Morning on the Animas

Morning on the Animas
12" X 12"
Acrylic on Canvas

I had to get out and paint—a strong urge I could not ignore. I loaded the car up with everything. Usually I gather up just my watercolors, but this time I thought I’d try painting with acrylics. That meant more stuff, but for where I was going, it would be manageable. I’d seen a spot along the Animas River that looked promising and the river had been begging me to paint it.

The Animas is special. It holds a singular place in the hearts of the people who live here and I’ll bet many who visit the region take the river home in their dreams. I know I did before we moved here. I thought this tie to the river was just my own kooky nature nutty-ness. Soon, I realized it wasn’t just me. 

Its full name, River of Lost Souls, might hold a clue. Are we drawn to it because, we ourselves are lost souls? Or, perhaps because we are found again—here along the Animas? Maybe the river is a thread to the lost souls in each of our lives. Somehow, I know that whoever named it must have felt this connection too. 

It was a bright, clear, cool autumn morning that we all live for. The river sparkled in the sun. I found the perfect place to camp out where the morning light tickled my artistic soul. About 5 hours later, I left with this painting.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Coming Squall

A Coming Squall
28" X 18.5"
Acrylic on a Cabinet Door

The rain often comes in the late afternoon and early evening. Most astounding, is when the rain marches towards us from the west, with a glimpse of what lies behind the coming shower—a band of sunset—gold, coral, and pink gleaming below the cloud layer. Above, is a different sky of water-laden billows framed by swaths of purple and deep blue where the light of the setting sun has been sealed away.

This piece is painted from memory on a salvaged cabinet door. I’m so glad I still have a few left. I love painting on this surface. I’ve been cruising alleys in town—ever on the watch for castaways to add to my “canvas” collection.

Tulips in the Sky

Tulips in the Sky
16" X 23"
Acrylic on a Cabinet Door

I’m not sure if I decided on this title because I’ve been obsessed with skies, or if it’s because there is no “ground” painted into this piece.

I started this painting back in spring. I was here alone, while Clint was somewhere between Colorado and California, hauling a trailer jammed to the gills with stuff that, someday, we’ll wonder why we moved.

It was a day where spring teases you: warm with a hint of what’s to come. However, once the sun waned, the lingering winter returned, and I ended the painting session wearing a sweatshirt.

The poor painting languished for months, sitting in the living room reproachfully reminding me that it wasn’t quite done. After a while, I added ground. I hated it. The tulips lost their light, dancy feeling, so I painted it out and left them floating, haloed in a haze of purple against a pale sky.

Luckily, acrylic paint allows you to cover over bad decisions (and regretfully, sometimes good ones).

By the time I was ready to finish this painting, we were well into summer; sweltering, the cool spring a distant memory.