Friday, July 24, 2009

Copy - Severin Roesen Still Life

22 x 28 Oil on Canvas
Severin Roesen - German-born American Painter, ca.1815-1872

This is my entry for Following the Masters Challenge Five - Flowers & Gardens. Michelle's current challenge brought to mind this painting which was started some time ago and never finished. Since the reference photo was nowhere to be found, I mixed imagination with paint to complete this tribute to Roesen. There are numerous websites featuring his detailed floral still lifes painted in the tradition of the 17th-century Dutch and German painters. Sumptuous and highly realistic, they are feasts for the eyes!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Composition in a Nutshell

Collage and print transfer (detail)

"Arrange dominate shapes, tones, lines, colors, texture, size and
direction of an interesting, well balanced pattern that will lead the eye
through the painting from the off-centered, well placed focal point. Gradate,
repeat and vary the elements as well as within the elements. Use a little
contrast of elements especially at the focal point and the result will be
unity and harmony." Author unknown (to me)

The paragraph above is framed and hanging in my studio along with the "Art is long" painting. Funny how often I glance up to critique work in progress via these pointers. "Art is long" reminds me to use the best available materials assuming the work is going to last over time.

The painting is acrylic, tissue paper collage and a print transfer using
Elmer's Squeeze 'N Caulk on a mat board support.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Still Life With Blue Kettle

18 x 24 oil on canvas

For a while I was really really bad about putting a tea kettle on and forgetting it! In the name of safety, the children gave me this nice blue kettle with a little bird that fits into the spout to whistle when the water begins to boil! Yea, that worked! However, for this painting I removed the bird. Even placed on the table, it seemed to change the mood from "serious still life" to "cutesy" no bird. Now I wish I had included it!

The bowl is actually stainless steel. The entire painting was completed from a set up in the studio using only black and white acrylic. The oil colors were glazed on over the dry acrylic underpainting. The glazes were built up over a few days allowing for drying between the layers.

Once again I am delighted that this painting inspired a beautiful poem by James Cox at Diamond Poetry What an honor. Thank you Jim!

Blue Kettle Tea my Blessed Daughter

The eastern sky
stands blue behind the Sandia Mountains,
but in the west a thunderhead approaches.
Teresa Chino comes down
from the mesa
to dig fresh clay for her pottery.
After the day’s work,
tired from the carry and the walk,
she climbs the sandstone stairs to Sky City,
ancient Acoma pueblo.
She looks forward to her daughter’s tea
made in the blue kettle:
they eat bread baked in a clay oven,
and strips of elk cooked all day
with carrots, potatoes, and wild onions.
In the evening, in sand by the door,
they draw designs
lit by moonlight and firelight,
their eyes in shadow, their hearts free.
The next morning,
they grind the stone.
In the weeks ahead,
she will teach her daughter
the secrets of pottery.
Teresa prays to the sun and the stars –
May her temper give her making strength
and the hard will of the Acoma way.
May her spirit give her making beauty.
In the evening, as we listen to the kee kee yah
of hawk coaxing black rabbit,
may you guide me in my lessons.
May we have rain and a cool wind tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009


5-1/2 x 15 Oil on wood panel

This is my entry for the DSFDF Challenge for Weeks 39-40. Reference for this painting was a photograph provided by Karin Jurick on her blog Different Strokes from Different Folks where artists are encouraged to paint or draw their own interpretations. Once again painting on a prepared wood panel enabled me to crop the painting when it became evident the boats in the background were adding nothing to this piece beyond my struggle to include them. My intent was to combine the photo of the rower with one from Wet Canvas. Traces of the boats and reflections still provide a bit of color. This was fun but I prefer painting tomatos and onions! A face and hands this tiny are indeed a challenge!

James Cox at Mountain Diamond Poetry sent this poem inspired by the painting. What a compliment! Thank you very much, Jim!

The Rower

Flat out into the water,
the rower leans to the pull
then digs hard, pulls hard,
and the boat skims forward,
a rush forward
though she faces back:
looking that way
she sees where she has been recede:
where she goes
will be her late discovery.