Giverny: My Homage to the Man

water lilies oil painting

A few weeks ago, Joy and I were up in Pittsburgh visiting our oldest daughter Camden, her husband Joseph and our baby grandson Elisha (who is amazingly cute). Well, one of the days we were there, we went to the Carnegie Museum of Art(which was truly amazing). After snaking our way through corridors of modern art and the medieval art, we (finally) got to my personal favorite: the impressionists. And oh my gosh -- Actually being able to get up close and personal with a Van Gogh was almost a holy moment! And then...and then I saw it: water lilies. Claude Monet. My favorite of all my favorites. I was transfixed on this massive panel of water lilies. I could see the brush strokes and understand the mixing of paint. It was beyond incredible. And Camden said, "you know, when you get back to your studio, you should create a water lilies painting as an homage to your man here." 

So I did. When I got back to my studio in Asheville, I began building water lilies on my canvas. 

This piece is entitled "Giverny", named after the home of Claude Monet, who lived at Giverny, France for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926. I think one of the big reasons I love Monet was that he was seemingly fascinated by the play of light and reflections on the water. He worked on many paintings executed on a floating studio (in Argenteuil or on the Dutch canals). He was obviously taken with the inverted reflections you find in these "liquid mirrors". In 1893, he purchased a piece of land situated at the end of a narrow arm of the River Epte (side note: this is the same river where the St.Claire's originally settled down after a life of being Vikings, but that's another story). And this piece of land became his home. The water lilies and painted and re-painted and re-painted nearly ad infinitum were all done here (in his back yard). I really want his back yard!

So this piece is my way of "taking my hat off to the master". It is my take (with my own technique and materials) on a well familiar theme. Thank you Claude.

oil painting close up
oil painting close up 2

"Do you know what you're going to paint?"

"Veridian Collision" (24" x 24")

"Veridian Collision" (24" x 24")

Abstracts Challenge

I always know exactly what I want to paint. Generally, the texture underneath all the aluminum leaf and paint determines everything, except...except with abstracts. With abstracts, I never EVER know where it's going at all. When I try to figure it out ahead of time, I ruin the painting. Been there, done that. Abstracts are so different, and an really therapeutic exercise because I CAN NOT plan it out at comes together as it comes together. They really literally have their own voice (and you need to know the secret artist password to hear the voice). This painting makes me happy. Every time I look at it I see something different. I like it when that happens.

Aegean Waters

A 79-Piece Painting

This one was a bit different than my standard pieces in that it is a painting that fits together like a puzzle (see photos below). There are 76 pieces to this, each cut out, textured, covered with aluminum leaf, painted, assembled and glued to my panel, then resined. Though the Aegean is far from North Carolina, the colors in this artwork are reminiscent of the golden sunsets and aquamarine waters. 

Final Assembly

Final Assembly


Just Because it's Fun to Paint

I live in Asheville, North Carolina and because of that, I'm usually painting the woods, mountains and trails I love up here in the Blue Ridge mountains. But a couple weeks ago, after my exploration into the underwater world of giant kelp and tropical fish, I decided to experiment again with more water; this time a crashing wave. I rarely have more fun than I did with this one! This piece measures 40" x 50" but I am thinking it would be awesome a lot larger than this as a statement piece or awesome entrance art. 

"Zuma" (40" x 50")

"Zuma" (40" x 50")