Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Life Force Jewel #4" A.K.A. "Jane's Little Cutie" since the buyer and I took months to finally be in the same town at the same time with the painting.

This was an experiment in delicacy and understating the forms, done on Belgian Mist Wallis sandpaper with a gouache underpainting. The swamp where I have been working for the last year and a half has great forms and the late day light must cross a row of trees on the Western edge to strike the standing ones, no longer alive, that stand about the wetland.

After the first few months, I started to collect information about this wetland, which has only been flooded for about five years, hence, the mature trees. When I first discovered this area, there were many more trees with bark still surrounding the wood and this has almost entirely changed. The painting here was done at the transition point, when I first came upon the swamp and there were still many trees with bark shrouded in lichen and moss.

Here's where I plug in my mea culpa band aid about the long delay to actually getting the blog up and talking. More regular postings are on the schedule, however, coming back to this, I've much to post so I'll give a summary of the highlights:

• May thru early Nov 2007, outdoors painting 30 or 40 hours a week. It was great!
Met a mink at my usual swamp
• Oct 2007, juried into the Degas Pastel Society
• Nov 2007, two pieces included in the Springfield Museum of Art plein air show
• Nov 2007, one of the paintings at the Springfield show sold, "The Fall of Albert". It was the only painting to sell at that show.
• Dec 2007, interviewed on, episode #6: My series on Coleoptera earned this attention, give it a listen it's light and has a couple of thumbnails of the work. These were last winter's answer to the weather in mid-Michigan.
• Jan 2008, two paintings accepted to the National Pastel on Paper Show, Wichita Kansas, exhibit runs March thru April
• Jan 2008, awarded scholarship to paint in Tucson March 2008
• Jan 2008, painting accepted into the Texas Nation Art Exhibit
• Jan 2008, scheduled for two-month solo show at Mackerel Sky spring of 2009

• Working larger, sold the first 18"x18" studio piece painted from a site piece at the reclamation area near MSU
• Studio/indoor assignments this winter include working at the entomology department specimen museum. And, after doing a short class in portraits, I'm negotiating access to the symphony to sketch. Other figure sources have been elusive. However, it is February and the inclement weather can't last. If nothing else, I will be in Tucson painting for eight days next month.