"On the Water"

On the Water.jpg

"On the Water" was a surprise. See, every now and then, I get a visitor to my Asheville art studio (in the River Arts District) that sees one of my paintings in progress...with just the aluminum leaf applied to the texture, no paint, no resin, nothing but texture. And they say, "I love it just like it is!" Okay, so this one is for you, visitor, if you've thought "why does he muck it up with all the paint???"

Muck it up? Really?? (Some comments call for a thick skin.)

Listening to the Minority...

I had intended to paint this one but at the very last minute, I thought that maybe this would be a good one to leave naked (so to speak). I was especially happy with the composition, because it really does hold together well (and is interesting) sans coloration. And so, I just coated it with one thin layer of resin and voila!

"On the Water" is the only painting in my studio collection with no color at all. But it's still getting a good deal of attention so I'm thinking those few people who have wandered into my Depot Street studio in the River Arts District may not all be wrong. Not entirely anyway. We'll see if it sells (that's the real test). But honestly, it's pretty cool. Am I allowed to say that? I REALLY LIKE THIS ONE. There. I feel much better being honest.


Winter in the Summer!

"Top of the Mountain" (18" x 22")

"Top of the Mountain" (18" x 22")

I have the tendency of being plagued with constant restlessness..."I'm too cold. I can't wait for summer"..."I'm too hot. I can't wait for winter". I have to remind myself to fully enjoy and appreciate where I am in the year, you know? I mean, each season has incredible beauty. I have learned two things living in a part of the country that gets four bonafide seasons:

1) Each season is a delight.

2) As an artist, winter always sells. 

I have no idea why my second point is true. I would have thought a winter themed painting would be a "slow mover" when it comes to sales but my winter paintings are still selling in the summer so...being the keen entrepreneur that I am, I will continue to paint winter themes as longs as they sell. This painting in particular gives me great joy. It is called "Top of the Mountain" and features a stand of balsam trees heavily laden will snow. And as in most winter paintings, it is almost monochromatic. I think reducing a composition to nearly black and white (as you do in a winter scene) is really challenging and if pulled off right (hopefully!) is really dramatic. 

So this summer, as you're about to enjoy a long weekend of inhaling bar-b-qued hot dogs, hamburgers and enjoying home made ice cream, remember...there are less than six months till Christmas. 

Woods in Winter
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When winter winds are piercing chill, 
And through the hawthorn blows the gale, 
With solemn feet I tread the hill, 
That overbrows the lonely vale. 

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods, 
The embracing sunbeams chastely play, 
And gladden these deep solitudes. 

Where, twisted round the barren oak, 
The summer vine in beauty clung, 
And summer winds the stillness broke, 
The crystal icicle is hung. 

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide, 
Shrilly the skater's iron rings, 
And voices fill the woodland side. 

Alas! how changed from the fair scene, 
When birds sang out their mellow lay, 
And winds were soft, and woods were green, 
And the song ceased not with the day! 

But still wild music is abroad, 
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd; 
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord, 
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud. 

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song; 
I hear it in the opening year, 
I listen, and it cheers me long.


Light in the Darkness

"Daybreak in the Pines" (22" x 14") Here's the latest oil painting to roll off the line -- and you'll notice it's NOT a winter scene. I'm dreaming of summer landscapes already. This does not bode well for my sanity over the next couple months but dreaming of and painting scenes reminiscent of places here in North Carolina I hike with my wife Joy over the summer months -- that helps take the edge of 8 degree lows. :p

"Daybreak in the Pines" (22" x 14")

"Daybreak in the Pines" (22" x 14")

The West Wind
by William Cullen Bryant

Beneath the forest's skirts I rest,
Whose branching pines rise dark and high,
And hear the breezes of the West
Among the threaded foliage sigh.

Sweet Zephyr! why that sound of wo?
Is not thy home among the flowers?
Do not the bright June roses blow,
To meet thy kiss at morning hours?

And lo! thy glorious realm outspread--
Yon stretching valleys, green and gay,
And yon free hilltops, o'er whose head
The loose white clouds are borne away.

And there the full broad river runs,
And many a fount wells fresh and sweet,
To cool thee when the mid-day suns
Have made thee faint beneath their heat.

Thou wind of joy, and youth, and love;
Spirit of the new wakened year!
The sun in his blue realm above
Smooths a bright path when thou art here.

In lawns the murmuring bee is heard,
The wooing ring-dove in the shade;
On thy soft breath, the new-fledged bird
Takes wing, half happy, half afraid.

Ah! thou art like our wayward race;--
When not a shade of pain or ill
Dims the bright smile of Nature's face,
Thou lov'st to sigh and murmur still.

Revisiting a friend

Water and Light

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12"). When I create wall art, I sometimes start by experimenting with a brand new idea for the piece. Other times, I revisit an older idea I've already completed but look for ways to create a new oil painting that is both like and unlike the original (hey, Monet did that all the time). "Morning on the Sound" was such an effort. I did a painting similar to this composition awhile back and really enjoyed it -- but the scene depicted was of a coastline on a misty morning. This time, I wanted to go back to the same basic idea but...I've sent a strong east wind and blew the fog away.

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12")

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12")

"Golden Pathway"

"Golden Pathway" (4' x 5')

"Golden Pathway" (4' x 5')

Birch Trees in Autumn

#4 of 4. This is the last panel for the Oklahoma City commission I have been working on. I poured the first layer of resin on this one and embedded thousands of pieces of broken up gold on top of the tree texture on the canvas. It's pretty sparkly now. Tomorrow morning, we're packing up a cargo van and headed west for the delivery.