Bell Tower at the Botanic Gardens in Autumn

I painted this in mid Autumn on site at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I was high on a hill-actually the same hill I painted the Japanese Bridge from, but facing the other direction. It was an absolutely beautiful day; this time of year every day painting outside is particularly wonderful, because I never know which day will be the last before it is too cold. Prints of this piece are available at Fine Art America. The original is also for sale.

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Bell Tower at the Botanic Gardens in Autumn

14×18 in, acrylic on gessoboard

$150.00

 

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Capturing the Sunrise

This is a series of three pieces I painted as the sun rose over Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park this morning. The first piece is tiny-5×7-because the sun rose so much more quickly than I could paint it. The second one shows the sky in transition. Shortly after I started it a dense fog blew in, picking up the colors of the sun and muting the light surrounding it. By the time I started the third piece, the sky was thick with fog, though there was a tiny sprinkling of light at the water’s edge where the sun rose above the fog. I recently read a quote in the book, Hawthorne on Painting, in which Charles Hawthorne is reported to have said, “A painter spends his life in despair trying to paint the beauty he sees…”  I felt this so acutely this morning, striving to emulate beauty that seems so far out of reach. But Hawthorne says later on the same page, “If a man lives a lifetime and seriously and humbly studies these things about nature-the beauty of the spots of color made by objects as they come together-it cannot but react on him as a man and, by the time he has painted for forty years or so, he’ll begin to have a glimmer of what beauty is.” So I’m making it a goal to hold off judgment of my work for another thirty years or so.

SONY DSCSunrise Before the Fog, 5×7, acrylic on gessoboard

SONY DSCSunrise as the Fog Blew In, 11×14, acrylic on gessoboard

SONY DSCAfter the Fog Blew In, 9×12, acrylic on gessoboard

Prints of these paintings can be purchased at Fine Art America by clicking on the appropriate painting. All three originals are also for sale.

Harbor in Early Morning

This piece kept me on my toes-I started very early in the morning, around six, and the light changed so fast that the orange sun that was in the painting when I started had moved up behind the clouds before I had a chance to paint it. But I think the end result was worth all the small adjustments I had to make as the light changed.  Prints of Harbor in Early Morning  are available here. 

SONY DSCHarbor in Early Morning, 16×12 in, acrylic on gessoboard

House Series #4

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This house ended up a little different from the first three in this series (here, here, and here). I like how it feels different from the others, with cleaner lines and more perspective. The photographs I painted this from were taken in the 60’s, when the house was brand new and the landscaping was clean and fresh.  And the house is in Florida, so that landscaping includes palm trees instead of maples. But I think ultimately, what I love about this one is that it’s the first house where I couldn’t take my own photographs, so I had to make something beautiful out of the photographs I had, optimal or not.

Little Houses

A lovely friend of the family asked me to give this a try. It’s a miniature (just 4×6 in) painting of the house she lived in while her son was growing up. I was a little nervous to try something I’d never done before, but it ended up being so much fun! I’m going to attempt a few more, and hope to share the results as soon as possible. This is acrylic on canvas paper.

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