Monday, February 27, 2006

Night Sky series
I'm continuing to explore the subject of the night sky--working from scribbly little sketches that I make on a little blue notepad while driving at night. I pull the car off the road and flip on the overhead light. I look as hard as I can, to absorb all the subtle details of the scene, scribbling the major composition elements on the notepad. I'm always surprised at how much I can remember days later when starting a painting based on these scant sketches. It seems to trigger my visual memory and then it's all just there to work from. These are encaustic on panel, about 7" tall.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Plein Air Painters of Grand Traverse
A friend and I have started a plein air painting group. It can be really positive to have the collective energy of a few people working together when painting out of doors. Visit the blog for more information:

Friday, February 17, 2006

Charcoal Studies
This winter I have been working in charcoal, on location in Leelanau County (usually from inside the warmth of my car...). I've been using these drawings as a starting point for paintings, both in oil and encaustic. Anytime that I'm feeling unsure or lost in my painting studio, I head back out with my charcoals. The immediacy of this medium slips me back into a better sense of value when I return to the paintings.

Monday, February 13, 2006

More Encaustic

Here are a few more encaustic paintings that I'm working on. I'm trying to keep these paintings very fluid with a lot of motion contained in the brushwork. I've reworked the painting of the stand of trees since I last posted an image of it on February 6.

Atmospheric Series

I've been working on a series of paintings this winter that are focused on moody light, shadows, fog, the city glow in a evening winter sky. And of course the snow. These are oil on board.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Waxing Poetic

I've been experimenting with encaustic for the last few months--mostly I've used up a lot of wax, but am starting to get a handle on this elusive medium. I've been working on birch plywood panels with encaustic paints from R&F Paints-- great company that offers tons of support for artists. They have a great website and a very active online forum.

Here are a couple of recent works that are part of an atmospheric series I'm working on.

Northwest Michigan Regional

Juried Exhibition of Michigan Fine Art
January 29–April 16, 2006
Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI

I was pleased that my painting, Meditation II, was accepted into this exhibit. The show was juried by Dennis Nawrocki, Professor of Art at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. I finished this piece in the spring of 2005. The painting is oil on masonite panel and measures 48" x 16".

I combined panels from two different paintings in this piece and have created another "sister" painting with the remaining panels, (Meditation III). I had planned to segment the two paintings in this way when I began them. The panels showing the trees have a lot of surface sanding going on. I love to layer paint and then sand back into the piece, revealing all sorts of texture and pattern beneath. I often times sand back in using a very coarse sandpaper before the paint has fully dried. Then I can pull and drag the paint across the surface and around contours in the piece.