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Fresh Produce

...this just off the easel!

Summer on High Acrylic on Canvas, 36x48"

Morning Stroll, 2013 Cut-Paper on Acrylic
This piece celebrates the simple joy of a long awaited Spring. It's that morning when the air is clear, the snow is gone and life has arrived on the branches. Winter's chill still bites, but we wrap ourselves in bright colors and venture out to witness Earth's new birth. Click Here to see a video of this piece coming to life. 

Arcadia, 2013
Cut-Paper with Acrylic
Ever been to a fantasy world in your mind? A place where you could become a child again, exploring without fear, owning the beauty around you? Well, this is mine! Plenty of symbolism to have fun with here, and I'm not going to unwrap each mystery for you. Take a closer look, invent your own meanings if you must. I'm pretty happy imagining myself sitting on a rock, along side Clio, enjoying the view. To see more of this piece in progress click HERE

Souvenirs of a Northern Fall, 2013
Acrylic on canvas

...just a pretty study of some 'souvenirs' I collected on one of my last walks in Ohio. To me, these are prettier than any jewels, and the sidewalks are carpeted with them! I love how the Sugar Maple leaves sometimes exhibit lovely red stems. Even in varying states of decay, the patterns of browns and violets are beautiful to me.  

"Ivan Sees the World as a Paper Landscape," 2013
Cut-Paper on Acrylic
On a recent trip to visit my son in Northern Ohio,  I had walked around Coe Lake on a warm, colorful Autumn day, busily taking pictures for future "art fodder." At one point, I stopped short when I realized this fellow was also exploring the shoreline. He looked so pensive and reflective it was easy to believe he was indeed contemplating what might this world on which he lands, and frequently soars above be composed of! The funny thing is that while he is mulling over the “paper” composition of the world around him, he seems to be forgetting that he too (at least in my rendering of him) is made up of paper scraps. I think he would approve my recycling effort! 

"Life on the Surface" 2012
Acrylic on Canvas
It seems I'm still in the midst of the marshy, wetland experience. Maybe I'm stuck on summer "time."  My latest piece is another memory of last summer's visits to the Wetlands near my Ohio home. The truth is I can't express enough about what a beautiful, little-known pocket of Earth it is. On that visit, I had stared down at the surface of the watery marsh for so long I almost fell in! The colors in nature can be so surprising and vibrant. It occurred to me, that small space must be teeming with life. I wanted to capture this living surface with all its vibrant, living energy.   

"Descent," 2012
Cut-Paper Collage
The first piece of the new year...I began this duck coming in for a water landing with a moody, dusk painting. The reeds emerging from the water are clipped dark blue strips from an underwater image. I then added the watery painted lines reflected on the placid surface. The main character of the piece is constructed of imagery of misty yellow and lavender sky and mountain layers. You can see the illuminated edges of the white clouds serving as the duck's downy underside. His signature orange feet are cut from a bouquet of Mums. The silhouetted cattails came last. Here the surface of the water is frozen in time, just seconds before it would be shattered by our feathered friend's descent. 

Change Coming, 2011 24x18"
In the tradition of To The Morning here is another captured memory from beautiful Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains. I was positioned probably 200 yards from the tree--it was such a huge focal interest. I fell in love with the yellows competing with the still-green areas of leaves. Though nothing else had changed in early September, the tree and the rapidly moving clouds seemed to herald a "Change Coming."

"Litte River Reverie" 2011
This 16x20 acrylic painting is the second in a series of riverbed motifs I've done. I love looking at the assemblage of rocks, silt, sticks and leaves that lay at the bottom of a shallow stream. The constant movement of the water overtop and around the rocks is something I can watch forever. Sometimes, long after I've walked away, I think of a stream I've found deep in the mountains, and it fills me with a sense of wonder that wherever else I have gone, and whatever time has passed, that stream is still moving across those same rocks, still flowing--a constant in a world of full of change. 

"Return to the Wetlands" 2011

My most recently completed collage tells a story. This summer when I found not one, but two turtles in one day, I learned a few things about these somewhat mysterious creatures that, let's face it, we don't see everyday! The first little guy was struggling to cross a busy street near my house without much luck. I retrieved him and placed him far away from the road, near the entrance to a park. The second met up with the underside of our lawnmower in the backyard! Fortunately he was ok, just a little frightened. This one, I learned, after consulting a wildlife expert, is a type of turtle who prefers a watery home. I knew just where to take him. Return the the Wetlands is that place. For the full story on the location, click here. You can also check out this piece in progress by clicking the In Progress tab. If you looked up close, you would actually see my little friend on the log in the left-center edge of the piece.  This is how he looked just before diving in. Oh! in case you're interested in the actual composition, it is created completely of cut paper, except for the background water and sky, which are painted. Hope you like it!


So here it is, finally completed. "Out of Darkness" was actually finished a few weeks ago, pretty much on schedule. Wiring each piece, photographing it and getting it delivered for the DVAC member's show all came before posting it though! It is making its debut at the Dayton Visual Arts Centre, Dayton, Ohio, where it will be on view through August 20th.

"Early Summer in the Quarry" 2011

This painting was about half completed while on location at the Oakes Park Quarry site in Fairborn, Ohio. I worked there on two separate days this past May and June. I had begun the piece, emphasizing heavily the pleasant combination of Sienna and blue that I could see on the first sweltering day. Upon returning to the quarry for the second session, just two weeks later, I found a much different scene. First, the day was low humidity and the sky, a clear sparkling blue, unlike the hazy sky I had worked under on the first trip. Secondly, there was much more green that had popped up in just a short time. Through the clear air, I could easily see violets and much more vivid blues, as the water surface reflected the beautiful sky. I quickly worked to renovate the painting to reflect this new, more vibrant scene, but it felt like starting over!  Back in the studio, I struggled to balance the two very different feelings I had gotten during my two trips to the quarry.  I had liked the original Sienna, painted in the heat of the first visit while I was seeing the amber-coloured silt at the bottom of the pond through the rays of the hot sun beating down through the water.   I wanted to keep at least some of it, so I attempted to balance the first layer of colors, while I added in the new set of hues I had decided to go with, including a complete change for the sky. You can see some of the progress shots on location here. "Early Summer in the Quarry" will make its debut at the Fairborn Art Association's exhibition, En Plein Air, which opens Sunday, July 3. 

 So this little piece came to life in about a week...

"Daring Adventure," 2011 6x6"

...inspired by a lovely quote of Helen Keller that I certainly agree with! The butterfly is designed to blend in with the small viola pansies in the background--ones I painted while sitting on my own porch! Looking closely, you may notice the wings are composed of a night-time city lights scene. A tiny sail boat sits at the tip of the front wing. Ms. Keller's priceless words are incorporated around the four edges..."Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." 

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Sunsphere, 2011 14x18"

I love using blues and oranges together.  So this natural display of complimentary colors got my creative juices flowing. You can watch a surface of water forever and not see the same picture twice. World's Fair Park in Knoxville, TN sports a 266 foot gold-glass and steel structure known as "The Sunsphere," that served as the symbol of the 1982 World's Fair, held in Knoxville. Looking very closely, you may be able to spot this famous landmark reflected on the water. This painting, recently completed, will make its debut in The View, Rosewood Arts Centre's annual juried all-Ohio exhibition. The show opens Sunday June 5. 
I just learned that my painting, "Sunsphere" has been selected as a FINALIST in the Artist's Magazine's annual Year's Best Art issue, featuring results from the 28th annual international art competition. I'm very excited! 

Passing Earth, 2011 20x24"

Talk about a "roadside attraction..." nothing entertains me during a long car ride like looking "up" at the  sky--watching the cloud patterns move on the wind, seeing the land change. No worries - I limit my  artistic day dreaming to the passenger's seat! I recently finished this acrylic painting that celebrates one such "windshield vision." I'm particularly fascinated by the "slices" of earth that form rocky canyons along the freeway running through Kentucky.