Saturday, April 26, 2008

All the Pretty Ribbons

I was looking through my studio at past works..some finished..some not, and came upon this unfinished pastel painting of a friend's Standardbred mare. Katie was acquired as a two year old filly to be trained, not to race, but as a pleasure driving horse. Many people don't realize that Standardbreds can make very good pleasure horses. This little lady was full of spit and vinegar and very forward moving (fast, that is). Katie was a challenge to her owner..several mishaps..some serious and some not, but she became a strong competitor in the regional pleasure driving shows. It was determined a while ago that she'd fractured her pelvis in an accident and never quite recovered. Last year her owner made the decision to put her down and she was buried on the farm. This was done from one of the last photos I took of her, quietly standing in the barn after a schooling session in the ring, waiting for her reward... to be turned out to pasture with her buddies.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Barn for Lily

This is a commission painting that was executed in pastel a few years ago for a client who owns this beautiful barn in Kennebunkport. The building is located on the old estate, "Rocky Pastures", once owned by the famous Maine author, Kenneth Roberts. The property has been subdivided into a few very choice lots and this one came with a 60 foot barn. The original home of Mr. Roberts which is for sale, isn't far from here and is constructed of stone.
My client wanted to surprise her husband with the painting at Christmas and requested that their beloved German Shepherd 'Lily', be included in the image. Kennebunkport is the current summer home of another famous individual..George Bush Sr., who owns a retreat on Walker's Point.
Lily enjoys scouting the property which slopes down to a lush open meadow. Salty ocean breezes sweep through the air...
What a lucky dog.....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Evans Notch-Gilead, Maine

In my previous blog I showed you the beginning of this painting with the initial shapes sketched in over a bright pink toned ground. After a few trials and tribulations this is the finished piece.
While painting this scene and as and more of the image details emerged I was reminded of our trip to this peaceful spot in western Maine. The quiet winding road, which is Route 113 if you're ever in the area, runs through Evans Notch in the foothills of White Mountain National Park. There are hiking trails on both sides of the road and places to stop and enjoy the woods, gurgling streams and panoramic views waiting at the top of Royce and other mountains. The sun was bright and warm on that day and the cool shade provided by the tree canopy brought welcome relief after our strenuous hike. It took us about an hour and half to reach the summit of Royce but the reward was well worth the effort.
This is pastel on panelli telati which is 18 x 24. It's also available..We will try to add my new work to my website soon...where does time go...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Evans Notch -White Mountain National Forest

This is a new work in progress that was started today. The location is old Route 113 in Gilead, Maine, which runs through an area called Evans Notch in the scenic White Mountain National Forest. Steve and I love this area and have hiked up Royce Mountain located off the road to the right and out of frame. The view from the top is breathtaking but it's a long steep climb. This section of road is so peaceful and quiet...far from the madding crowd. For this painting I decided to do something a little different so I painted a 18 x 24 panelli telati support(Italian made canvas covered board that's been gessoed) with a pink pastel alcohol wash. I've painted in the trees and shadows on the road with colors ranging from black, dark blue, teal green, forest green, olive green, pale sage green and a warm dark brown. So far the pink underpainting remains as the light source throughout.
It's an unusual color combo for me but I'll keep you posted on the progress and show you the finished painting..
By the way..most of my new work hasn't been added to my website yet..not enough time but they're all for sale...please inquire.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hanna's of Pemaquid

Pemaquid is another picturesque village along the Maine coast and this little convenience store with gas pump is the social hub for residents. While driving through there last fall we recognized the truck as a '48 Ford..because we used to have one! We fell in love with it when we tried it out and bought it without thinking about it's practicality I guess. We used it all the time to pick up materials for our antique farm remodeling projects, errands.. or just for a country drive. It wasn't easy cramming our three young boys and dog in there with us but we did and had great fun. It still had the original engine..a flat head 8( don't ask me what that is but it sounds cool) and had to be double clutched to shift power steering in that baby either. She was rough and tumble...
It was a sad day when the old girl finally quit for good. She was eventually rebuilt by a neighbor and sold...what a great truck.
This is pastel on acid free foamcore primed with Colourfix terra cotta..approximately 8"x8"..for sale too..

Friday, April 4, 2008

Autumn Road

OK..I think my fascination with scratchboard has been temporarily satisfied. So ..time for glorious color and pastels.
I just had to paint something with green in it..We still have three foot high snow banks in this part of the country and this image filled the bill. It's a scene just up the road from our house and the field on the left, which is mostly out of frame, is about 20 acres and lush green during summer and early fall. The property owners take great care by fertilizing it yearly so their farm animals will have nutritious hay to munch on through the winter. Sometimes in the evenings small herds of deer graze peacefully on the rich grasses and alfalfa. We take frequent walks in this direction and I love watching the evening sun spread it's golden fingers over the field and across the road.
This is pastel on gallery wrap canvas prepared with Colourfix terra cotta primer...11 x 14 and it's for sale..just inquire if interested .
Come on SPRING.....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Highlander

This may look like a giant pile of hay with handlebars but it's actually a breed of steer called the Scottish Highlander. They come from the remote and scarcely vegetated areas of Scotland, are very economical to raise because they don't need much to eat, and can withstand severe weather conditions. They also provide very tasty meat making them a prime candidate for beef production. I just happened to bring our camera while doing errands in the next town over and was able to get a rare photo opportunity. ...You don't see animals like these very often. This dun colored steer is part of a small herd that usually grazes in a pasture far from view but they were right next to the road on that day . I have close ups of them facing me and good head shots which will be used for future drawings and paintings. It was hard to tell where the hay he was laying on left off and the steer's body started! Despite the cold, damp weather he looked quite comfy...