New Birds and Flowers
The summer may be over, but sun drenched color has lingered in my studio. Three new summer hued paintings are ready to spread their wings and head out into the world.
Peaceable Summer is the egret painting that was inspired by egrets and herons I've seen in my neighborhood. (You can read that story here) It has been a while since I have painted a canvas this large, and I enjoyed it so much, I think I will make large paintings a more frequent part of my repertoire.
The background of this painting is inspired by a sketch club trip to the Shenandoah University in Bluemont, VA. Once back in the studio, I realized the small pond I had sketched and photographed would be the perfect setting for the egret painting I was thinking about. I've made the pond bigger, added some water lilies, and changed the landscape a bit. Things rarely stay the same when they make their way from photos and sketches onto canvas in my studio.
Sunrise Memory began as a layer of abstract color, with no preconceived notion of what I was beginning to paint. I began layering warm tones with the goal of creating a richly colored and textured ground. As I turned the canvas this way and that, I began to see a bouquet of flowers and a mango in the midst of the swirls of red orange and yellow. I quickly sketched them up and began my process of adding and removing, to allow the image to come through. A warm, vibrant still life emerged which reminds me of brilliant summer sunrises and days at the beach that end with cool evenings.
Only I could go to the Baltimore Aquarium and be most impressed by the birds. These scarlet Ibises were part of the Amazon exhibit there, and I was fascinated by them. I took a terrible photo of them with my phone, but that wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity. Shortly after arriving home, I painted them in my sketchbook, and immediately began preparing a canvas for them. Sometimes, I think my terrible photographic skills inspire more paintings than good photos would. If I had a great photo of these birds, perhaps I wouldn't have felt the need to paint them. In this case at least, Scarlet Daydream benefited from my poor photography.
As I sit here in my studio, with the cool fall breeze fluttering the papers on my desk, I wonder, will my colors change, with the season, or will they stay sun drenched and vibrant? Will the sounds of the geese flying overhead bring with them the golden, warm hues of fall? At the moment, some hummingbirds and a rooster are taking turns on the easel, and next week I will be going to the National Zoo with an artist friend for some sketching and inspiration. A zoo trip usually inspires some paintings, so I wonder which animals will inspire me this time? Will it be the baby panda, who isn't such a baby anymore, or one of the big cats? We will have to see what sketches will beg to make the jump to canvas. Until then.....