The last painting I made for my April show at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, OR, is of yellow-headed blackbirds in a crabapple tree. The challenge was to make the background of pine trees work with the intense light and colors in the foreground…ie I didn’t want the background to usurp the foreground. As with all paintings there is a moment when I’m not sure I can pull it off. But, as I follow my instincts, it usually resolves. I intended to cut this in half and use the 2 squares in some frames I had ready to go. But in the end, I liked the composition and couldn’t bring myself to cut it apart. The square frames will have to wait!
Yellow-headed Blackbirds are so beautiful and mixed with the reds of the apples and the ochre leaves, they come to life.
I will be showing my new paintings of Central Oregon landscapes, salmon and trout fishing art and a few bird paintings in April with fabulous sculptor and printmaker Danae Bennett Miller. The show opens April 6, during the First Friday Gallery Walk at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon and runs all month. I will have some new soft pastel paintings of our glorious High Cascade mountain lakes and the Deschutes River. New wildlife art includes spawning salmon and beautiful trout in the crystal clear waters of the Metolius River.
Danae will have her cast bronze and glass sculpture along with hand-pulled prints depicting wildlife…elk, deer and horses.
Tumalo Art Co., an artist-run gallery, is in the heart of the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon. Come see us!
For our February show at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon all of the artists in the collective painted things they are passionate about. As an exercise, because I hadn’t painted much since finishing my latest very large painting, “Into the Mystic” for the show at Black Butte Ranch, I wanted to do something different, which for me is often a still life. One of the Tumalo Art Co. artists, Danae Bennett Miller, (who I am having a show with in April!) raises chickens with her son on their ranch. They bring eggs from their (very) free-range hens to our First Friday Gallery Walk openings every month which are eagerly snatched up. They have absolutely beautiful colors—delicate tans, browns and blues…sometimes with speckles. As I was getting ready to make our traditional Christmas breakfast dish I found I couldn’t crack these two eggs. So I put them in a little dish and placed them on the vintage tablecloth to take some photos. The resulting tiny still life presented the perfect challenge for painting something I’m passionate about. In this case—pattern and color…
I just recently completed this large painting on canvas for Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois through American Art Resources in Houston, Texas. I originally connected with AAR when they sent out a call for art for Sacred Heart/RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, my hometown. So, it was great to be called upon for this new commission.
Sometimes it’s interesting to see the progression of a painting. I build-up color, continuing to layer until a painting feels finished. The initial painting session, for me, is just about getting something on the canvas. Once I’ve leaped that hurdle I am compelled to keep going. “Just begin” is my mantra as I drag my unwilling body into the studio and work to overcome inertia. I always prime my canvases with the complimentary color to what I think will be the predominating color of the final piece. Since I paint nature that color is often in the green and blue range, so my under-painting is red or orange. Though most of this color is covered up, twinkles of it show through in the final that give the art life.