Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowy Weather

So here we are at the end of the first month of 2009. I don't know how many times it's snowed so far in the new year, but the storms have been lengthy and have filled me with a sense of serenity. I thought I'd post some older photos. Here's one of me out painting on Lynd's Fruit Farm a couple of years ago. The orchards are 5 miles from where I live, and they are particularly beautiful to look at in winter, and even more beautiful when there is snow on the ground.

The bark of the trees changes color in winter, taking on neutral colors with pinkish or greyish overtones. And the bark is shiny and smooth. It is wonderful to walk among the trees and see which one is calling out to be painted. And, it's a difficult subject matter. But I like the linear quality of the limbs against the snow and sky.

Here is a painting done in December 2003. There was the lightest snow falling and just a dusting on the ground which fell in the early morning. I had hosted the artists from OPAS out to paint the orchard in the morning and then have a hot soup lunch and critique back at my house. We had quite a few artists come out that first year. None of us were really hardened to painting in the cold, but we all tried. Some didn't dress smartly at all, and they wanted to get back to the house for hot coffee and heat. So, I didn't paint as long as I might have. This 16" x 20" was done in half an hour or so. It's not a sophisticated painting, but I do think that you get the feel of a raw Ohio morning. I know I was cold.

There was 12" of snow on the ground when I went out a month later in my husband's four wheel drive. It was Super Bowl Sunday but I could care less for football. The snow was coming down hard. Martin was away on a job so I went out to the orchard, sat in the car with the engine running and the windshield wipers going and painted this 10" x 12". I think you can see a big difference in the the quality of the painting, dictated by the state of comfort of the artist. I was warm while painting this one.

Like I said, these are older paintings, from around 2003 - 2004.

This next one was painted in December 2005, the year we had the massive ice storm that took out power in Central Ohio for a week or more for some. Here in "the country", we lost power for about three hours at a time and then the heat would come back on for an hour or more and the cycle would start all over again. We were relatively comfortable through it all.

The storm made for some gorgeous scenes. Among other things, sunrise through freezing fog was awesome. I got up every day at 5:30am and drove around the same route. There were paintings out there for sure. It was amazingly quiet and beautiful. Mostly, I just looked, taking in the memory of it for reference, and taking a few photos as well. I always had my easel with me, but didn't use it often. Still, one morning, I got out of the car and stood in the cold and painted this 8" x 10". Painting at dawn. I was chilled. The light changed quickly. I didn't want to fall into the trap of painting into the light, so I quit within half an hour. I think you have to agree that this is a cold scene. I sold it to someone that understood cold; the painting now lives in the great state of Alaska.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2008 OPAS Zanesville Juried Exhition

Ohio Plein Air Society had back-to-back exhibitions at the end of last year. The exhibition at the Schumahcer Gallery I just wrote about. And then there was the exhibition at the Zanesville Art Center. I entered two paintings and received two awards. Both paintings are 8 x 10's and completed on the same day. I received an Honorable Mention for a painting entitled "Carter and the Grant Wood Mural" It is a quirky kind of painting of a 15 year old fiddle player sitting on a street corner at the monthly gallery hop in Columbus, OH. Across the street from him is a huge mural of Grand Wood's "American Gothic". I will post a photo of it when I locate it.

A better painting is this one which took second place entitled "Granville on a Saturday". It's been written that Granville is one of the prettiest towns in Ohio. It's 8 miles from where I live, and this was the first time I'd painted there. It's home to Denison University where I studied printmaking with Debra Fisher and Ron Abram for a few years in the mid-90's.
The painting was completed on Main Street in October 2008, on a gorgeous October day. It was around 2:00 PM when I started to paint. I knew it was time to quit when my husband Martin delivered a rum raisin ice cream cone to the easel.

Schumacher Exhibition Awards

In November 08, I won two second place awards in the Ohio Plein Air Society (OPAS) Juried at the Schumacher Gallery of Capital University in Columbus. The 6" x 8" oil painting above is titled "8 AM, Lakeside" and was painted during the July OPAS paintout. I was mezmerized by the sun shining on the distant water. The color in this photo doesn't do it justice, it's too brown, but try as I could, I couldn't get it right.
At the end of about an hour, the light had changed dramatically. I was pretty much finished, but would have put on a few more strokes. However . . .
suddenly I saw some folks pushing off from the shore in a sunfish boat with a great striped sail. My love of pattern and color kicked in and I couldn't get the first painting off of my easel quick enough. I grabbed it off the easel and tossed it on the grassy lawn. Frantically I fixed a new panel on the easel and jumped into this second 6" x 8" painting. 20 minutes later, someone yelled that an ominous storm was moving in across Lake Erie behind us. We could feel the wind at our backs, but we didn't stop to look back. We kept on painting, with the feeling that the storm would give us some warning. We would have time to pack up and get out, even if a little wet.
Once again Mother Nature had her way, she opened up the sky pelting us with a driving rain. The easel filled up with water, but the important thing was to protect the painting. Jack Liberman had a tarp and ran over to offer us cover. We stood under the tarp for at least 20 minutes, dripping and laughing. It was an exhilirating experience!
I love these little paintings, they have lives of their own and I was pleased for them, that they received awards.

Edie Dean has a website!

Here's a photo of me painting and talking to my good friend Edie Dean. We are in the Deaf School Park in Columbus, OH.
Edie has just created a website! WOW! It looks great and she keeps adding some great new stuff, like her monoprints rock!


I have done such a poor job keeping up with this blog.
A few posts ago I published this painting "Morning Ritual, Banganga Tank". This painting got accepted into the ViewPoint 2008 National Juried Exhibition sponsored by the Cincinnati Art Club. It came home to me from that show, and while I was away at Christmas time someone saw it on my website and asked about seeing it. I took it to my gallery and a sale took place! It now resides in a good home in Columbus, OH.