Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Directions

Working on a new painting that goes in a bit of different direction from my usual still life subject matter. I'm having fun with it, but am curious what the response will be when it's finished, framed and displayed. 

Unlike our former residence in the heart of a neighborhood and small lots, we are now living next to a waterway and woods. I'm inspired by the natural settings on my walks and every day pass through woods and shorelines that, even in the dead of winter, grab my eye as potential backdrops for paintings. The woods behind our home follows the estuary and meanders for a mile in and around the long-defunct and capped landfill. Very few people seem to know of the area and it's amazing trails. The high school backs up to this woods and the school track team uses the trails in warmer weather to train. The trails are wide and well maintained for this purpose, but a few offshoots from the trails can take you into a very beautiful, peaceful spots to sit and reflect on life -- or, ponder new paintings. 

On a recent midday walk with Hazel when the temps reached nearly 50 degrees, I found a small, shallow area of frozen groundwater amid the trees. I returned to that spot and began trying out different set ups with easily transported props from my studio. I am playing with the combination of my props - man made and familiar - set against stones, wood, star moss. In the case of this painting, I utilized the pool of ice among the birches. The blue taking form in the painting is actually ice reflecting clouds and sky. 

I was setting up some possible ideas when my ribbon blew aloft with the wind and landed in the little scrub birch growing on the edge of this frozen shallow pond. The rippled drape of the red against the aqua struck me as somewhat spiritual in nature, truly speaking to me as a symbol of the direction I want to embark on. The ice is ethereal, the ribbon freespirited and bold....and yet it's connected significantly to earth by the woody branches of the birch.

There are so many elements that I love to work with in this piece. Textures both hard and soft, movement and solidity. Cool and warm; a contrasting yet complementary palette. 

But, it's not finished. This is just a preview; a tiny snippet....

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