Sunday, March 23, 2008

"A Morning in May"

Two summers ago, I shared a house with artist friends in the small town of Ecorsaint, Burgundy, France. This sweet little charolais stopped to watch me as I was painting on a beautiful May morning. The charolais cattle originated in Burgundy, where the green hillsides are dotted white with cows and Queen Anne's lace. hmmmmm - that gives me an idea for another painting!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From Start to Finish

This morning I checked the blog of one of my favorite artists, Terry Miller. ( On his latest post, he talks about how he uses reference material to create his work. (as soon as I figure out how to do it, I will post links for some of my artist friend's blogs)

This gave me the idea of showing how I go about 'creating'.

"In the Wind" began as an idea that goes back to when I was a kid in New Zealand. I would lie on my back in the grass and watch the blue shadows change as the sheets billowed in the wind. Over the years, I've painted three sheet pieces, but this is the largest.

I waited for a windy day to hang sheets on a line. Of course, the minute I hung them up and aimed the camera at the sheets, the wind stopped blowing. I waited. It was dead calm. I went back into the studio and of course, it blew a gale. I dashed back to the clothes line and the wind stopped. Such is the life of an artist.

Finally, I was able to shoot about 30 images of sheets in the wind. There is no photo that looks like the painting. Rather it is a composite of ideas from various photos.
My goal in painting, "In the Wind" was to give the FEELING of wind and sunlight, but with little detail. In this piece, I also concentrated on edges - or the lack of them. I saved my hardest edges for the birds - and let the edges of the sheets soften into the wind.

I am happy with the simplicity of the composition - yet it is a strong piece. Hope you like it too!

"Agave I"

I've been gone for several weeks. In mid-February I exhibited my work at the South Eastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, South Carolina. The show went really well! The following weekend I exhibited my work at NatureWorks in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I received a BEST OF SHOW award for "In the Wind" (check January's archived posts to see this painting).

Now I'm back in the studio working on new pieces for the Legacy Contemporary Gallery in Scottsdale. ( This oil is one of three agave pieces that will be at the gallery within a week or two. It is 12" x 24" painted on a 2" deep cradleboard. This contemporary look doesn't require framing.