Sunday, January 28, 2018

Snow Studies

10 x 7" plein air oil on linen/birch.
 January 18
In the woods as afternoon turned to evening. Snow clung to the moss-covered bark of an old oak tree on the hillside.

8 x 16" plein air oil on linen/birch.
January 19
Winona, Minnesota, on the campus of Saint Mary's University. I set up, troll-like, under a footbridge to paint the still water of the creek that cuts through the woods.

Two 5 x 7" plein air oil paintings on linen/birch. sold
January 21
I took myself for a Sunday drive after church through a landscape of filtered sunlight, fog, and frost. By the time I reached this spot in the marsh the sun was disappearing behind incoming clouds and the fog had dissipated. It was a beautiful, quiet spot to observe the textures and colors of the bluffs and lowlands on a winter afternoon. It was a wide view, and the little panels I had along to paint on just didn't seem to cut it, so I painted two of them together.

9 x 12" plein air oil on linen/birch.
January 25
Footprints and drifts along the field-road. Grays and blues in sky and snow, soft shadows and the sun setting behind a cloud bank to the west.

7 x 10" plein air oil on linen/birch.
January 26
A thaw turned steep hillsides into waterfalls and all the ditches and gullies into streams of melted snow, stained by fallen leaves. The dogs, chasing tracks and trails up and down hill, occasionally remembered my existence and returned to me to be told what good dogs they were before running off again.
Shortly after I painted the reflections, water broke through the ice and snow farther up the hill and the little stream widened and foamed as it rushed on down towards the valley. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Watercolor Time

I've been getting back into painting more with watercolor recently. It's so different than oils and, though I began with watercolors when I was a kid, it still can feel like a new and difficult medium - but can also be so fun and satisfying!
Here are some recent works from late fall until now:

Late October watercolor #1, approx. 5 x 8"

Late October watercolor #2, approx. 8 x 5"

Last Color, watercolor, approx. 8 x 11"

Overgrown, watercolor, approx. 8 x 11"

Damp Leaves, watercolor, approx. 11 x 8"

Moss Green, watercolor, approx. 5 x 8"

The Still Meadow, watercolor, approx. 8 x 5"

Brown and Gray, watercolor, approx. 5 x 8"

November Dusk, watercolor, approx. 5 x 8" sold

Winter Birch Portrait, watercolor, approx. 11 x 8"

Brown December, watercolor, approx. 7 x 11". sold

Evening Snow Clouds, watercolor, approx. 7.5 x 9.25. sold

Moody Snow Clouds, watercolor, approx. 7.25 x 9.25. sold

Snow on the Tree Trunk, watercolor, approx. 5 x 4.75. sold

Friday, January 12, 2018

Though I walk...

11 x 14" oil on linen/birch. 2017 *

8 x 6" plein air oil on linen/birch. December 8, 2017 *

8 x 16" plein air oil on linen/birch. December 11, 2017

6 x 8" plein air oil on linen/birch. December 16, 2017

16 x 12" oil on linen/birch. 2017

9 x 12" plein air oil on linen/birch. January 8, 2018

18 x 24" oil on linen/birch. 2018

16 x 20" oil on linen/birch. 2018

These paths wind and wend through woods and fields and pastures. Across sunlit land and shadows.  Smooth ground and rough. Through thistles and weeds and brush, and through wide places and on the high ground where the wind blows cold. The little bit of snow that has fallen has settled in them and makes them stand out in the brown winter landscape.
 They are not great, important roads - nothing special - just small, insignificant ways. Tracks left from planting and harvest, and trails followed by cattle and deer.
 And me.

 I've been doing a lot of walking.

 I wish I could say I've handled loss well, but grief has surprised me with its ebb and flow, its waves that come and knock me over when I think I've gotten through the worst of it and am doing fine. There are times when the missing is so strong and the absence felt so keenly.
 I'm trying to find my footing when everything has shifted. One path has abruptly ended, so what now?
What am I doing, and what ought I to be doing, and thinking, and feeling? What is important, and what is of worth?
 Thoughts and questions, fear and fog, more foolishness than I want to admit. Trying to figure out a broken world, not able to figure out even a broken heart. Pouring it all out before the One who formed both. Putting one foot in front of the other.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

He is faithful still when I am faithless.
His peace passes understanding.
His promises are sure.
His love never fails.

Keep walking.

Stand fast in the faith,
Be brave,
Be strong,
Let all that you do be done with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14