Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas
and best wishes
for a happy and prosperous
New Year.

Karen, Steve and Koda

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Wind

The full moon these past two nights has been spectacular. I can't remember when it's been so bright and illuminating. Friday night I played ball with Koda and Baxter under the moon's pearly gaze but the scenery was so distracting I stopped frequently to study it. The trees on our property were coated with ice from the recent storm and glistened like crystal. The pines drooped from the weight of it all and looked so graceful silhouetted against the sky. I tried to hold that image for future reference.
I enjoy drawing and painting trees..each specie has its own personality and character that can change dramatically with the seasons and weather conditions.
This is a pastel painting of an ancient apple tree in Kennebunk in summer. It's on the property of a fellow pastel painter who hosted a group plein air demonstration in which I participated. Two of the tree branches are so long and heavy the owners propped them up with beams to keep them from breaking. I thought that was a valiant effort to keep their beloved tree going.
The old apple was a challenge to paint as I didn't want to get caught up in detail...just wanted to capture the spirit of the tree gently blowing in a soft summer breeze laden with the humidity of the day....this was my third try.
I'll think more about the tree shapes and mysterious colors of the these recent moonlit nights and plan for a nocturnal painting of them in the future. The feeling will be quite different from this one and a great way to explore the colors and tone values of night.
Green Wind is still available...I wonder if the tree survived the ice storm..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

First Snow

The weather pattern is a frequent subject of discussion now that we've accepted the fact that Global warming is changing things significantly. So far in Maine this season we've had snow, freezing rain, warm rain, sleet, and bright sunny warm days alternating with almost zero temps and near hurricane force winds. Quite a variety in such a short time..kinda makes me wonder what's next. It must be tough on the local wild animal population during this transition to winter...
Our dog Koda loves the cold snow and leaps through it like a gazelle. My horses used to love it too...Their turnout to winter pasture always involved a good roll and face rub in it. Invigorated by the icy baths they'd leap into the air on hind legs and finish with a spirited gallop down the fence line with tails a' flying. It was a morning ritual that was exciting to watch. I envied their robust spirits.
I never got photos of my horses doing that(what was I thinking?) but this painting was done from photos of a friend's pony enjoying the biting air and first layer of refreshing white stuff.
This image is a reminder of the playful side of animals during weather and temperature changes.
I thought of it while watching PBS TV footage last night of a Badger repeatedly sliding and tumbling down a snowy hill . Who knew they played too...?
This pastel painting is part of the permanent collection at Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum in North Yarmouth.
Koda should provide some great images for future winter paintings...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sea Smoke- Deer Isle

Winter is approaching quickly here in the north. Many places are covered with snow and our furnace is running steadily now. We dress in warm sweaters, fleece socks and the bed is piled high with blankets and a down comforter.
Our dog Koda revels in the brisk morning air and seems oblivious to the bitter chill we both feel sinking into our bones.
This pastel painting was done a few years ago and shows the sea smoke that forms over mud flats during a particularly cold morning down east in Deer Isle, which is about 135 miles from here. The photos used for this painting were taken by an artist friend who's lived there most of her life. Her lovely home sits on ocean front property that was part of the old family farm. She tells me she often rises early, sips her morning brew and enjoys a scene similar to this from the back deck.
This location is a few miles down the road from her place. I couldn't believe the photo when she sent it...the land formations looked primeval.... as if never touched by man.
I guess that's what inspired me to paint it. Now, with winter on the way I think of my friend getting up early to watch the sun rise, savoring the view of a magical place like this and waiting for a new day to begin.
This painting is available..if interested just inquire.