Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Prize 2011

"Sands of Time", oil on canvas, 30x40

My Artprize painting for this year, "Sands of Time", inspired by the dunes along Lake Michigan. Overtime, the shifting sand moves into dunes and valleys caused by winds off of the lake. Visitors walking on the dunes also have an effect on the fragile dune ecosystem. Plants help hold the sand, so care must be taken to tread lightly.

See my painting at Huntington Bank at 50 Monroe, next door to the BOB. It is hanging on the main floor, to the left of the front entrance next to the elevators. Please remember to register and vote for your favorite art works. There are about 1500 works of art within the 3 mile boundry in downtown Grand Rapids.See for more information on hours and registration spots.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Enthusiasm Goes a Long Way

"Summer's End", oil on linen, 9x12
This little farm was inherited by Don. I met Don while asking if I could do some painting on his property. He enthusiastically introduced me to the two cows, two pigs, his beautiful flowers and small    vegetable garden. The fruit trees had the best nectorines and peaches that I have ever tasted! He generously gave me a bushel of peaches from which I made two pies and selected the best ones for my still lifes. You can tell that this little farm is a labor of love for Don and he is carrying out the farming traditions of his parents. A nice way to spend retirement!
I had fun painting this little barn with the nice shapes and surrounding gardens. The cows were challenging as they really do not keep still unless eating their breakfast of alfalfa and hay. I may try the painting with the cows again, with more careful study from my photos.

"Alfalfa and Hay", oil on linen, 11x14

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Pasture" in pastel

"August Pasture", pastel, 18x24 SOLD

A new studio painting based on the plein air study I did in August, north of Bellaire.  I added the hay bale and cows to this painting, just to give more life to the scene.
This painting will be shown at the Saint James Court Art Fair in Louisville, KY, the first weekend of October.

Peach Harvest

"Peach and Two Plums", oil, 5x7
"German Plums", oil, 6x6 SOLD
The peach harvest has been very good this year in west Michigan. I just can't seem to stop buying them, they taste so good! Some have made their way into my recent still lifes along with the dark prune plums. I love those shapes! Call me crazy, but I love painting these intimate settings and just can't seem to stop, with more and more ideas. I think I should move on to tomatoes, or peppers, or beets, or....
"Fresh Picked" , oil, 6x6 SOLD

These new paintings will be on display at the Saint James Court Show in Louisville, KY, the first weekend in October.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Torch Lake Area II

Hay for Horses, oil, 6x6, $250 framed
The last painting of the last day. I had to quickly come up with a composition of this barn for a small panel. Finding the hay bales inside the barn was a bonus. I was attracted to the negative shapes.

Pasture, oil, 11x14, $800 framed
This is the same barn as above, seen from a distance. When I started, there were horses  near the  water pail, so I took pictures of them, thinking I could use this study along with the photos to do a larger painting in the studio.

Weathered Barn - Evening, oil, 11x14, $800. framed
A weathered barn with an orange glow in the evening light. I liked how the foreground shadow pattern helped to lead the eye to the focal point. 

Hay Bales and Hills, oil, 11x14, $800. framed
A very windy afternoon. This scene was along a main road leading to Bellaire. So not only the wind, but we had to contend with the noisy traffic and people stopping to talk to us as we were painting. I am surprised this painting is even a keeper. I hope to use this painting as a study for a larger piece.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Paintings of Torch Lake Area

"Beach in Elk Rapids", oil on linen, 12x16
Several weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Northern Michigan. Four other plein air artists and I found inspiration in the Torch Lake area, staying in a quaint log cottage. We didn't have to go far to paint. The hills and valleys around Torch Lake, weathered barns, old stone houses were there for the painting. There were actually more places to paint then we had time for, so a return trip next year will be planned. The shoreline town of Elk Rapids has numerous wonderful scenes. Marianna and I challenged ourselves to paint in the marina. We found a boat that we both liked...nice in the evening light. We found out from the Harbor Master that the boat belongs to  local gallery owners. We think we will show them our paintings!

"Green Sail - Evening", oil on linen, 9x12

More northern Michigan paintings in the next post!