New work

I spent a lovely week on Great Spruce Head Island a few years back and have sketchbooks, drawings, and photos that I’ve been working on ever since. The color swatches alone are enough to bring up detailed memories of the morning light on Penobscot Bay and thunderstorms on hot afternoons under the spruce trees. This is a study of the rock that ends Double Beaches like a punctuation mark, 12 x 16, oil on panel:

Double Beaches, GSHI

New work

I have a new mantra: Wait for Everything to be Dry, and a new policy on using mediums (linseed oil, etc.) in my paint: Don’t Use Any Medium, and a new slogan written on the wall of the studio in black marker: Really, Wait for It To Dry. This is the first piece I’ve finished with all the rules in place and I’m very pleased with it.

Red Flowers, White Pitcher

Red Flowers, White Pitcher. 24 x 18, oil on panel.

Up next, and Blagden Preserve landscape using the same constraints keeps life interesting. . .

New work, matching set

August in Maine is by turns bright and stormy, and always chock full of cars, camper vans, and people. We have family and friends visiting, phone calls and g-chat, and people in expensive cars from out-of-state pulling over to the side of the gravel road to ask about the garden and take pictures. All this will start to taper off after Labor Day and disappear entirely before Thanksgiving so I’ll take the crowds now as antidote to the barren landscape when it comes. Meanwhile, in the moments in between visitors, we paint.

This is the matching piece to last month’s small painting done in Frenchboro titled “Shade Trees”, 20 x 16, oil on panel. Both pieces are currently hanging at the Artemis Gallery in Northeast Harbor, and look lovely glowing under the good lights against the white walls there.

Frenchboro Harbor

 

New work, redux

There’s probably a label for the blogging disorder of allowing photos to lapse past their freshness date. . . I go out into the garden these days to gather visuals and am immediately distracted by ripe blueberries, carrots that should be pulled to make room for a second planting, and slugs in the zinnias. On the other hand, our new studio building is making it much easier to be disciplined about painting.

This painting of Frenchboro harbor is one of two that will be hung as a set at Artemis Gallery in Northeast Harbor for a show opening August 14. 20 x 16, oil on panel, finished last week – pic of its other half coming soon.

Frenchboro wharf August

New work from the Blagden Preserve

This site has been very, very good to me. . .something about the stacked layers of rocks and water going straight out to the horizon that is visually compelling. Right now in late June and just past the longest day it’s like a desert down there on the rocks, but I took a long hike along the shore on Mother’s Day when the snow still extended down to the water’s edge and made the start to this painting.

Blagden Preserve, Snow 1

By popular request, here are some details. . . the far reaches are under water at high tide and are covered in rockweed and barnacles, turning them a lovely warm sepia color even in the dead of winter.

Blagden Preserve, Snow detail 1

Detail of the rotten snow along the tide line:

Blagden Preserve, Snow detail 3

 

And finally, the drawing stage from the site. This is Ivory Black oil on a tinted board.

Blagden Preserve, Drawing detail

New work!

One of my shortest posts yet, because I’m on my way back to the studio to work on a new painting from the Blagden Preserve, followed by beekeeping at the Peggy Rockefeller Farm at 3, followed by a quick dinner, friends coming over for lemon bars and a tour of the garden, then more painting! Must be the longest day of the year. . .

Zinnias in a Blue Jar, 24 x 18, oil on panel

Zinnias and asters mason jar

New(ish) work

I was down in the studio on this glorious Maine morning to clean and organize, and realized I’ve never posted a photo of “Clara’s Vase with Nasturtiums”. This vase is has been very difficult to merge with the softer forms of plants and drapery in past studies. I think my current experiment with Cezanne’s shorter, exploratory brushstrokes have given me more capacity for that type of change in substance.

Claras Vase Nasturtium

Clara’s Vase with Nasturtiums, 20 x 16, oil on panel

New work!

If you live on the island, you’ve noticed that the rocks at Compass Harbor are black basalt, bleached with salt-grime and truly spectacular in the late afternoon sun. If you also said to yourself, wow, I bet that view would be very difficult to paint, you would be correct. Here’s a first attempt:

View from Compass Harbor to the Porcupine Islands, late afternoon. 24 x 18 inches, oil on panel

Compass Harbor Porcupine Islands

New work – Frenchboro Harbor series

I have four new blog entries started and material just keeps coming; the title of this blog was never more apropos than the bees and art in spring 2014. It’s all very exciting but very little is actually being posted. To remedy that, here’s a quick look at a study for a larger painting now on the easel of Frenchboro Harbor. Done from studies and photos taken last August, this study represents a departure for me in terms of image and paint application.

Frenchboro Harbor Study; Big Trees  16″ x 20″, oil on panel

Frenchboro Harbor

Here’s a detail of the paint: applied without medium a la Cezanne, “a short stroke representing only the brush exploring the form”.

Big trees detail

New work, redux

March in Maine: wearing crampons over my boots to hike down to Four Seals Beach and wearing fleece-lined leather gloves to stand on the rocks and draw, white sky with black rocks and seals barking in the distance, the full moon and the sun glowing on different horizons. I’m happy with the work, will continue to use a Cadmium Lemon wash and different hues to make the underlying map on this set of paintings.

Square Rock at 4 Seals

Four Seals, Square Rock, 18 x 24 inches, oil on board