Thursday, February 14, 2013

I continue with the small ballet paintings with the goal of starting a large canvas soon. Lately the subjects for my larger paintings have been concentrated on wildlife paintings because of looming deadlines for Leigh Yawkey Woodson's Birds in Art and the Bennington Center for the Arts' Art of the Animal Kingdom. However, I will soon change focus and hopefully paint a larger ballet painting.

Dance 4, Expression, 6" x 6", oil, (click to bid)

The desire to express one's self is as old as human history. Dance has always been one of the most powerful of those expressive outlets and ballet one of the most beautiful.
One of my goals is to be able to convey emotion on a small canvas. Working on small surfaces is difficult as you have limited space to communicate with. You must strive to make sure each stroke counts and your image is distilled or simplified to the most important details. That is always a challenge for any painter - what to leave in or leave out. It is a continual learning journey. I tried and hopefully captured some of the beauty and our desire to express ourselves.

Thanks for your visit

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Carolina Wren

Yesterday, after finishing a larger piece, I painted this study of a Carolina Wren. I have several wrens that hang around my house. One pair has nested on a shelf in my garage. I don't have the heart to take the nest out, especially while it is cold.

Carolina Wren, 5" x 7", oil (click to bid)
I have a seed feeder and a suet feeder right outside of my studio. Also in this area is where I stack my winter wood supply for my wood stove. The wrens really go for the suet and are constantly flitting around the wood pile looking for seed and small, moving, crunchy critters. This is where this scene originated.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waiting in the Wings

Relaxing (or trying to relax) before her dance. I love the contrast of the discipline and control seen on stage verses the apparent tranquil state of pre-performance. At first glance the dancers can seem to be in a state of nonchalance.

Waiting in the Wings, 6" x 6", oil  (click to bid)

As they are getting ready for the big moment, you would think they are completely relaxed. I am sure that at different times they are relaxed. But look a bit more closely in their eyes and you may see a different story. Having known many dancers, I know that at this time there is much going on. Maybe a time of switching from left to right brain activity as many of us artists do. A time of concentration, contemplation, and a time of handling nerves that have gone awry. And they make it look so easy and beautiful.

Thanks for your visit!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tufted Titmouse 2

One of my favorite birds that frequent my landscape. This little dude makes an otherwise dreary winter landscape happy and full of life... hmmm... I think I am beginning to sound like Bob Ross...happy little tree/bird? Lets ignore that and proceed... Anyway, a constant visitor to my feeder, I have taken many pictures of this guy and his friends to immortalize on canvas.

Tufted Titmouse 2,  5" x 7", oil on linen board,  (click to bid)

Pictured is the morning after an ice/snow storm that went quickly through our area. Any covering of ice or snow makes these guys especially active at the feeder making short work of that expensive seed! But I will keep filling it anyway as the enjoyment and life the birds give make it so worthwhile to me.

"They shall go flying
With musical speeches

High overhead in the 
tops of the beeches.

In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,

We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking."
excerpt from a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Thanks so much for your visit!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dance 2

The magic of the human body moving well. We either do it or wish we could. Dance, football, ice skating, gymnastics, and the list goes on. We all dream of having a body that can accomplish physical feats of strength, agility, and beauty. Few of us ever attain this type of physical excellence. We are either not blessed with a physique that can transform itself this way, or maybe we are not driven to do what it takes.

Dance 2, 6"x 6", oil on linen board, (click to bid)

So when we see someone who does what we only do in our dreams, we dance with them, we run with the football, we are in the Olympic rink in front of thousands doing the triple flippity-flop. And we think, maybe I could, or maybe I could have... The thing is, even if we cannot achieve those dreams, we can celebrate (in a healthy way) those who do. That they can do those things for we can somehow experience what it is to be set free, even if only in our minds and heart.

Thanks so much for your visit - come back!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chickadee Study 1

I strive to keep up my avian painting skills by painting small works of the many birds that visit me. I always try to capture a sense of mystery in the subject if I can. This can be accomplished several ways. Lighting is key and the way you handle edges and background also are important. 

Chickadee Study 1, 5" x 7", oil on linen board, (click to bid)
This Carolina Chickadee was in the process of feeding heavily before an approaching ice storm. Birds and other animals always know when weather is coming. Part of this is instinct, but I believe that part is also an ability that we humans also have. The problem is we increasingly do not or maybe cannot pay attention to our surroundings. We have let so much compete for our attention that our senses have become dull and raw. You see, we only have capacity to clearly comprehend so much auditory and visual noise in our life. The question becomes how much and which information and stimuli we choose to entertain. For by the act accepting some we immediately decline others. By accepting too much, we tend not to understand any. The choices we make define who we are. What is important to you? Oh heck, I started off talking about painting - how did i get here?

Thanks so much for your visit - come back if you dare! :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dance Study

I have always loved ballet and other types of dance. When I attended The University North Carolina School of the Arts in high school I played in the ballet orchestra during performances of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and many other classics. Of course, down in the orchestra pit you really cannot see much, but I also managed to experience quite a few practices and performances outside of the pit.

Dance, 6" x 6", oil on linen  (click to bid)

The dancers are really amazing athletes! All of their grace really takes a great deal of strength and agility. Besides the dancers, I have always loved the magic and mystery of the stage lighting. It is instrumental in setting the scene and I love how it falls on the dancers as they move through the atmosphere it creates. My intent with this painting is to study and hopefully reproduce the dancers and their interaction with the lighting. Thanks so much for taking time to visit and I hope you enjoy Dance.