I was delighted this year to once again have a painting selected for exhibit in the Swope Art Museum Annual Juried Show. My painting ‘Flying 2020’ was chosen by Juror Drek Davis from Louisiana. In his comments he said,
“While there is no specific theme for the exhibition, it seemed to me that the vast majority of the works submitted in one way or another spoke to the moment that we find ourselves in. Nina Simone is famously noted as saying “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” And while it is debatable whether that charge is an actual duty, per se, the works assembled here suggest that numerous artists in the Wabash Valley understand it as an opportunity to address some of life’s persistent emotional, social, and psychological issues. In the times that we find ourselves, for this moment, that’s important I think.”
That was exactly how I felt at this moment in the airplane! I sat there with my face almost totally covered, one mask required by the airline, one mask desired by me, and thought, “This is a strange situation we’ve come to in the world”, and was motivated to capture the moment in paint.
I painted this from my front porch this afternoon, an exhilarating experience. It was a crisp, clear, windy December day. My focus was the large maple tree in the middle of the front lawn, and the way the nearly-setting sun was lighting it, although by the time I finished (an hour later) the light had pretty much gone from the tree.
I took a lot of artistic license with the view and completely removed the houses across the street (their complexity and presence did not add to my ideas about the tree), so this is not actually the view from our porch, but my ideas about the tree and the light this afternoon. I loved doing it.
A copy of part of a portrait painting by Philip de Laszlo of the Princess Elizabeth, oil, 12 x 12 ins.
I painted this Master copy earlier this year, in a lesson with my teacher, Kari Rajkumar. I chose the portrait out of several she showed me because of my Britishness and my interest in painting children.
There are so many lovely colors in her skin! I really enjoyed trying to match them. I have focused since on understanding the warm and cool colors in skin, and I think I’ve gained some ground.
Our third Plein Air class was in the middle of very quiet Amish countryside, near New Wilmington, PA. The three of us stood within in a fairly small area but all chose different views, so came away with three totally different paintings.
I liked these big trees overshadowing the farmhouse buildings, with the big barn a little closer to me. There were numerous Amish buggies coming and going, and horses being used to plow the fields, so almost the only noise was of horses’ hooves. Altogether a very peaceful three hours of painting.
For our second 3 hour lesson we went to a rural area and found a pumpkin field. One fascinating aspect of painting outdoors with other people is that we can stand in a small area together and produce totally different paintings!
My choice of view and subject was based on the pumpkins leading up to the white barns, which are silhouetted by the dark trees. I also liked including the distant hills. I had a strong sense of representing the feel of what was in front of me rather than the exact image. To that end I ‘moved’ the pumpkins around quite a bit!
A few weeks after arriving in Pennsylvania, I visited the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, PA and found that they offer 4 classes in Plein Air painting. This seemed like a good opportunity for learning and encouragement, so I signed up!
The teacher, Nancy Hawkins , is a kind and gentle lady, who gave useful instruction and good encouragement. On the first lesson I was the only student! We sat on the back patio of the lovely Hoyt Art building for three hours and painted this view to the south. It was exhilarating!
One of my grandaughters asked me to sew a pink fleece bunting for her doll, after I had made a purple one for her sister’s doll. I made it and sent it to her and this painting is based on the photo that her mother took for me.
I like the look of quiet concentration as she inspects it. I enjoyed working with the soft and muted colors and using a palette knife for her hair.
Because we have temporarily moved (over the past month) to Western Pennsylvania (until Thanksgiving), I’ve become behind on the posts of paintings that I’d planned. I’m going to try to catch up a bit. !
These are all small (6 x 8 ins) sky paintings on canvas. I painted them earlier in the year, all from photographs I’d taken. I was experimenting with ‘feeling’ the color and trying to achieve that sky ‘glow’. These are more abstract than subjects I usually paint, and the freedom with shapes and colors was invigorating.
My painting of my grandson, titled ‘Happy’, was awarded 2nd place in Painting at the River City Art Association Annual Juried Show! This is the third year I have entered paintings, but the first time I’ve been able to attend the Opening and Awards ceremony. It was exciting and I was delighted!
The Show is up for the month of August at the First Financial Bank, 6th Street, Terre Haute, IN. The award winners will be moved to the Springhill Branch for the month of September.
They are both oil paintings, 4 x 6 ins. The green eye is lit from below, the blue eye from the front. It was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise!
I have always found eyes fascinating. How can living tissue form a transparent optical material? The process of perceiving color and value and transforming that into a readable, meaningful image has seemed wonderful to me. How can cells fmake an adjustable focus lens? These were some of the reasons that led me to pursue a training and qualification in Optometry. (The others were the Ah-ha moment when I first put on glasses to correct my short-sightedness at age nine, and the benefit I received from contact lenses as a teenager).
Now I am appreciating eyes from a different viewpoint!