Monday, November 23, 2015

Nishna Greenway, November

Pastel, 14x18 on self-sanded board

In the late afternoon, the sunlight floods between the trees and timber on the old roadway that runs on top of the south levee at Nishna Bend Park near my hometown of Harlan, Iowa.  Almost all the leaves are gone from the trees, and the tall grass has turned to rust and gold, but the short grass on the greenway still blazes with color and life. In this painting I have tried to capture some of the multitude of contrasts for this time of the year - contrasts in color, in value, in temperature, in line, and in direction.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bottom of the Field, November

Pastel 10x14,  on self-sanded board

November can be a time of beauty and drama in the hidden corners of the empty fields.  The long shadows of late afternoon stretch across the stubble of the harvested corn field.  The grass on the edge of the field is still vibrant green against the dark, leafless trees.  The weather is still not cold, and it's as if in expectation of winter, the bottom land next to the river puts on one last show.
I constructed this surface and design using what I learned from Tom Christopher in his workshop.  Thanks, Tom.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Autumn Sea Oats

Pastel 9.5x14 on self-textured Gatorboard

Tom Christopher workshop - first studio piece.  Using Tom's instruction for texturing Gatorboard and emphasizing values, I developed this painting from a photograph of the sea oats on the low dunes at Jacksonville Beach.  My objective was to capture the textures and color of the sea oats on an early November morning.  The green of summer has been replaced with rust and gold in the early autumn light.
Photograph from my phone.  I will take another, more formal photograph after the workshop.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Off the Path

Day 1 Tom Christopher Workshop, Pastel 9x12

This is my first painting done in the Tom Christopher workshop.  I determined to do as much of this painting following the guidelines from his demonstration and personal instructions.  My challenge of working in the deep woods in Florida is to avoid being overcome by the color green.  The instruction Tom gave was to work with values first then color and to let my movements and marks be more free and gestural.  This is the result.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Marsh Colors, Autumn

Pastel, 9x12
My desire with this painting is to present the colors of autumn in the early morning.  In that brief moment as day waits before the sun climbs into the sky, the colors on the marsh seem to blaze with an inner fire.  The shadows are muted and indistinct, and the sharp details are diminished to bring the whole scene into a sense of expectation for the day ahead.