Sunday, November 30, 2008

Interior with Stairs

9 x 12 oil in canvas

Something very different for me.  I have been doing a lot of "scratching" lately.  Twyla Tharpe, in her book The Creative Habit,  uses the term scratching to describe the creative process of finding one's way to new ideas.  Scratching may consist of  looking around, opening books, experimenting, playing, traveling.... whatever helps you to find your way.   I went to my sister's old farmhouse in Stockholm, WI a couple of weeks ago and was so struck by the beauty of the home she has created there.  The old plaster walls, steep stairway and beautiful color choices on the painted wood really struck me;  but especially the way the light affects its all.  I also recently read a new term that I very much like, intimist, or intimist painting .  Its not in the dictionary and I can't remember where I read it so I may have spelled it wrong.  To me it says a lot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Woods

8 x 12 oil on canvas
I painted this piece when I was in Frontenac this last time, from the deck of the lodge we used as our studio. Halfway through the painting it started snowing - not big flakes but delicate tiny drops which created a barely perceptible shift in clarity. The light became diffused. There were frequent trips inside to sit by the fire and many cups of tea needed to complete this piece!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Prairie - before and after

This week we finally finished up the last 12 acres of prairie planting!  We now have 50 acres planted, it feels great to be done with the planting stage.  Now it will be some management for a few years and then its on its own, with a burn sometime in the next 5 years.  Today I went for a walk in our first snow and saw a Northern Shrike - they summer in Canada and come down here for the winter.  I also saw "our" Screech owl up in her usual hole;  she has been a winter regular since 2005.  I am assuming its the same one, although I'm not sure.  I have been trying to get a photo of her but so far no success. 
On the painting front:  I need to figure out a way of painting in my studio that makes me as happy as painting outside.  Subject, set-up, lighting, etc.  all are being considered and experimented with;  I have been painting but feel like keeping my work to myself for a bit until I'm comfortable with what I'm doing.  I went to the down-town library last week and felt like a kid in a candy store;  I have been looking at a wide variety of artists and just read a Fairfield Porter biography which was inspiring.