Tuesday, December 09, 2014

"At Day's End" Old Barn Acrylic Painting

At Day's End
Old Barn

"At Day's End" signifies not only the end of the day but of a time long past. I thought about calling it "Day is Dying in the West" but that did seem a little depressing, plus it makes rather a long title.
Old barns can be picturesque and are even considered beautiful by some, but to me there is always a sadness about them.  The family farm is quickly disappearing from the American landscape. Where once there was life and activity, crops and livestock, parents and children working and playing together, now there is only silence. That way of life and even its memory is fading away. It has been said that, besides death and taxes, change is the one constant in life. It isn't all bad; in some ways we live better than they did back then. Automobiles are nice, electricity and indoor plumbing. I for one am thankful for the Internet as it has enabled me to meet people throughout the world.  Still, there is a sadness associated with the end of things, a nostalgia, and perhaps a desire to visit those quieter, simpler days if only just once.  We could learn something from them, probably more than we would expect.

This is an acrylic painting on stretched canvas and is available through my online gallery. The Creative Spirit Gallery.  It was inspired by the barn belonging to my husband's step-grandfather.

For a number of reasons, I have been absent from the blog lately and I apologize.  One of my favorite quotes was actually attributed to John Lennon: "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."  I can blame illness, busyness,  family circumstances, and all kinds of other things, big and little,
but those are the things that make up life, and they are not really an excuse.  I promise to do my best not to let those things get in the way so much, now that they have all settled down a little. For a while at least.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wolf in Wolf's Clothing

Wolf in Wolf's Clothing

Taking a little break from commissions and portraits to do something different. Painting wildlife is a way of escape for me. It takes me away from the ordinary ups and downs of everyday living into another world, where for a while at least I can experience life from the viewpoint of another creature.  For centuries the wolf has been the subject of stories and folklore. He is  worshipped by some, hated by others and respected by a few. In truth, he neither god nor devil, but simply the wild animal he was created to be. He lives in a community for protection and companionship and hunts for food to survive.  Not really so different from us...

I chose to paint this guy looking a little scruffy because he lives in the wild and doesn't brush his hair. He probably doesn't even bathe regularly, so he won't look as well groomed as a contestant in a dog show.  Yet in his own way, he too is beautiful.  The pastel is on Uart sanded pastel paper, a new surface for me, though actually it has been around for quite a while. I love the surface - enough texture to hold on to the softest of pastels, but fine enough for detail work.  It is never too late to try something new.

For information on purchasing this or other paintings, visit my online gallery, The Creative Spirit Gallery

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Collector

The Collector
Pastel, 9 x 12

This little guy likes to hang out in the tree by the window in my studio.  Actually, lots of his friends hang out there as well. Maybe that is because my husband had built a squirrel feeder and attached it to the trunk.  The ear of corn it holds keeps them busy for a while, though occasionally they do have to stop and nap in the middle of a meal...

I enjoy watching them as go through their day, snacking on tidbits, chasing each other, teasing the dogs, and chattering incessantly. They remind of of the verse from Proverbs. "A merry heart does good like a medicine." Whether or not they have merry hearts may be up for discussion, as they do have tempers and squabbles often seem to break out among them, but they always bring a smile to my face. So it is medicine for me, at least.

This painting was done on a new (to me) pastel paper which I believe will become one of my favorites. It is UArt pastel paper, and is available in several different  grades from very fine to very rough. Actually it feels similar to sandpaper but is acid free for artists' use. I use their 500 grade, which is considered medium fine. It grips the pastels just like Wallis paper but the finer grade makes it easier to show detail. And those of you familiar with my work know how I love detail!  I didn't like that it came in only one color, a light buff, but you can use watercolor to tint or underpaint, which some artists prefer to do anyway. Of course, I will always love Canson, my old standby but every now and then it is a good thing to have some variety in life.

This and other paintings are available for sale through my online gallery, The Creative Spirit Gallery.
I have not been posting regularly for some time, but am hoping to remedy that. Thanks for your patience and understanding and thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Calla Lilies Part 2

Calla Lily
The Light of the World
Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas, Deep
12 x 16 x 1.5 inches

Sometimes the stories of the people who buy paintings are as interesting to me as the paintings themselves. In a previous post I shared the first in this series, titled "Faith, Hope and Love." To a lovely lady in New Zealand, the painting symbolized herself and her two friends. She commissioned a companion piece featuring a single large flower to remind her of the Lord, who was always with them on their journey through life.  Creating a composition to harmonize with another painting which was already halfway around the world was both inspiring and challenging. I wanted it to be similar in feeling, but with just enough difference to make it special and unique.   When the second painting was finally  shipped, I felt a touch of sadness. First, because the experience had been so rewarding, a part of me didn't want it to end, and second because I would never see the two paintings hanging together as they had been intended.  Fortunately Gabrielle took care of the second problem by taking a photo of the paintings as they were arranged.  

I love it!!!

These paintings have been sold, but there are many other paintings of flowers, animals and other subjects available through my Creative Spirit Gallery.  New work is added periodically. http://dellartistgallery.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Calla Lilies, Philodendrons and Pig Lilies

Calla Lily
9 x 6 Pastel
Matted to 11 x 14
This small pastel with a horizontal format is available through my online gallery, The Creative Spirit Gallery. It is matted and ready for the frame of your choice.

With its simple yet elegant blooms and long, stately stems, it is no surprise that the calla lily takes its name from a Greek word for beauty. You might be surprised to know, however that this flower is not a true lily. It was mistakenly identified somewhere in its past and is actually more closely related to the philodendron. It its native land it is known as "trumpet lily" or "pig lily." That is probably more information than you needed, but it does tend to support the view that "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Faith, Hope, and Love
Calla Lily
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas  8 x 16
This painting was purchased by a lovely lady in New Zealand. To her, it represented herself and her two friends. She has also commissioned a companion piece of the same size to group with it. This will be a single calla lily, representing Jesus. Right now it is in the planning stage, but I will share it when it is finished.

Calla lilies traditionally represent faithfulness, joy, and rebirth and are often used in wedding bouquets as well as in Easter celebrations as a symbol of Christ's resurrection. For this painting I decided to use three of them simply because the composition fit the canvas,  but the the finished painting made me think of one of my favorite Bible verses,  1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." And so, the title, Faith, Hope and Love.  When everything else has disappeared and there seems to be nothing left, these three still remain. And when you have faith, hope and love, you have everything.

Today I pray that you have everything - Faith, Hope and Love!