Back to Elementals…

It has really been too long since I’ve posted… but, over the holidays I did spend some good time in my studio going back to one of my old and favorite painting styles.

I occasionally feel the pull to go back to my roots of pure watercolor paintings after having spent the last few years exploring my mixture of oils and metallic watercolors. Fueled by this pull and the interest in submitting some work to the upcoming Western Federation of Watercolor Societies annual exhibit in Boise this year, I painted two watercolor abstracts in my “Elementals” style in December.

I rediscovered how a very steady hand is required for painting my Elementals! And how this is mainly achieved through lots of practice and patience, both of which I’ve been a bit out of while painting my oil abstracts. I consider my oil abstracts much more “gestural mark-making” while my Elementals are a more exacting and technical painting process.

“Three Autumn Trees”, watercolor on paper, 28 x 20 inches.

I painted two Elementals to submit to the Western Fed exhibit, one (above) in a more representational style of autumn trees and the second (below) in a more true abstract style. I submitted both, so we’ll see what response they get!

“Cliff Dwellings”, watercolor on paper, 20 x 20 inches.


I love them… I love them not…

For the last month and a half, I’ve been working on a large commission triptych project for a client’s office. Today I’ll apply the final coat of varnish, so the project is nearly complete. And, my client loves these paintings, so… yay!

However, the last week of finishing these paintings up has me stuck between loving them… and not loving them. In general, I love my birch tree paintings and, with this particular set, think I captured (from left to right) a solid feeling of Summer, Autumn and Winter. In fact, I wish I was sitting smack in the middle of the Autumn panel right now!

So why am I sometimes feeling that “I love them not”? Is there something wrong with my composition across these 3 panels? Is it just my usual feeling of depression that I experience whenever I finish a painting?

What do you think?

“Tall Birch Trees – Summer, Autumn, Winter”; oil and metallic watercolor on panel (middle panel is 45×18″).

Juxtaposed: Autumn’s Death, Winter Solstice & Crocus

“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

                                    — Ecclesiastes 

It struck me today, on this last day of Autumn, that there are a few things in my life that need to die.  As we move into Winter, and a season of dead and stillness, I know that I can’t be still.  All seasons need to be (and are!) seasons of change for me – for my life, my loves, my art, my journey.
    I’m not typcially one who carries a load of bad spirit around with me, but angst is often close by.  So right now, I’d like to let go of a couple of negative things whose time has expired; things I don’t have room for any longer in my heart.  This season of change, from Autumn to Winter, I will allow and even encourage these things to die.
      And just think – I’ll have room for new things to spring up within me.  Just like the Crocus that are already coming up in my garden!
        Crocus in my garden as the snow started to fly on this last day of Autumn, 2007.