The houses in Stonington, Maine continue to be an inspiration. Snow melts and blows away quickly this close to the ocean so I haven’t managed to get out painting on a day with both sun and white stuff, but that’s the next project. Meanwhile, a small painting (16 x 12) of a house with blue awnings on the west side.
Summer is a busy time. There have been weekends off-island (sometimes on another island), hours spent in the garden, long days spent at work, and lots and lots of holiday traffic. Somehow, I eked out enough studio time to complete the Blackberry Branches painting, and it’s probably my largest and most complex piece to date: 36 x 24 inches, oil on panel.
And some details:
So much is happening in the garden: two new hives of bees, new bee fodder (phacelia!), new green manure mixtures, and a foray into next-gen gardening with Bio-Char. I want to write about all of it but there’s still life material growing out there too. The Ruby-Gold ornamental quince put out flowering branches for the first time this year; combined with a new thrift store tablecloth it made an excellent color study.
Quince in a Tan Vase, 24 x 18, oil on panel
Every year the Land and Garden Preserve, keeper of some of the most beautiful properties on our beautiful island, solicits pieces from local artists for a fundraiser in late summer. The 2015 event will be July 30 – August 1 at the Asticou Inn, Northeast Harbor, Maine. I had the opportunity to paint inside Thuja Lodge over the course of several afternoons in September with some of their lovely still life objects on display.
The Dutch Shelves, Thuja Lodge – oil on panel
Here’s a detail of the view to the kitchen:
I think this is my last work done from drawings and site photos during summer 2014. I have months to go until the 2015 crop of glads comes in, but will spend that time doing studies of new glassware acquisitions and prepping for new varieties of cosmos as raw material. Meanwhile:
Glads in a Green Jar, oil on panel, 36 x 24
That simple jar with a smooth coil insert sitting on my palette is the best brush-cleaning tool I’ve ever had. I have mine filled with Turpenoid and periodically poor off the clean stuff, wipe out the sediment that collects at the bottom (the coil is easily removed for access) and then refill with the same solvent. The write-up at Dick Blick Art Supply says:
Be kind to your fine art brushes!Stroking a brush across the smooth surface of the aluminum coil opens and separates the hairs for proper cleaning without damaging the fragile flags (the delicate split ends of brush hairs).
This heavy glass tank with a screw-on lid holds up to 12 oz (355 ml) of water, solvent or Silicoil Brush Cleaning Fluid.
Cheap at $6.00 a jar, this has probably already paid for itself in resurrected brushes.
Posted in haste, there’s a lot to do today now that the sun is out! Time to unearth the gladiola bulbs from winter storage down cellar, clean them of last year’s soil and roots, and decide on a color planting arrangement for Garden 2015. I’m thinking those red ones, var. Palm Beach, should go near the front.
Glads in a Blue Jar, 36 x 24, oil on panel, and a detail:
We have so much snow on the ground that the thought of painting it makes me shiver. I’m making drawings of the dark spruce trees bending under heaps of pristine white, but as an antidote I’m finishing images from this summer. The crab apples are from the community garden and orchard at College of the Atlantic.
Crab Apples and Teapot, 24 x 18, oil on panel