Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Southern Colorado

Southern Colorado I, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

It has been a strange year when it comes to painting.  I know that I spent a lot of time in the studio, but I don't have much work to show for it.  I have been doing a lot of drawing since last year and 2018 was the year of the sketchbook, mainly because I saw that my sketches were becoming extremely popular on Instagram.  Trying to give people what they want I lost focus for a bit, but since the end of summer I picked up my brushes again and began a series of three paintings. 
Southern Colorado II, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

I worked on these landscapes simultaneously as I raced my own clock to finish x amount of paintings by the end of the year.  I think I'm on track so far, I guess we'll see once Dec. 31 arrives.  I have been wanting to do some Colorado paintings, the place where my husband grew up, a Colorado that is far from the picturesque ideal of what people think when you say the name. 
Southern Colorado III, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Over the years we have visited a number of times, and it always hits me every time we land; Southern Colorado is a very harsh, dry, expansive place.  I hear that it used to be more green perhaps fifteen to twenty years ago, climate change has bestowed upon this area of the country drought.  This has caused the land to be very arid, as if this desert place could get any more dry.  To a person who grew up in the North East, where lush tall tress grow and the landscape tends to be very green in Spring, Summer, and part of the Fall, Southern Colorado can feel like Mars.  There is always a deep sense of loneliness when I look at this landscape, the vastness of it all can feel suffocating yet free.  From time to time this area is awarded some moisture, and green can begin to creep in on the pale grey brown of the ground.  It's almost like a little glimmer of hope that one day things will get back to the way they used to be in a not so distant past.  These three paintings are my first takes exploring this landscape, and what it means to me as a painter with no emotional attachment to it and experiencing its expansive dry geography.  As I visit more in the years to come and become intimate with the place it will be interesting to see how my views change about Southern Colorado through my paintings.         

Friday, November 16, 2018

Missing Summer Fun

Summer loving had me a blast, summer loving happened so fast...and fast it was!  As usual summer comes too late and goes too soon, I'm missing those warms days of fun painting at the park or painting poolside. 
Yesterday NYC was covered in slushy snow, most of the city was not ready for it causing major delays and the shutting down of Port Authority.  Many trees throughout the five boroughs were downed due to the weight of the snow, which is too bad because this city needs as much green as possible.  I say the only acceptable chilly thing that needs to be downed is a nice glass of Martini. 
This summer we got to stay at a friend's East Hampton home for a long weekend, and as usual with any long or short trip I bring things for me to work on.  I have a problem with sitting idle, my hands need to be busy all the time. 
I was able to get some watercolors done, it's been a while since I put this book and watercolor box to use and boy did it feel good.
There's also nothing like waking up to a nice cup of tea, sunshine coming through the window, and yes some painting.  As I sit here typing this post with chill seeping into my bones I look at this image and feel the warmth of that sunny day wrap me up like a blanket. 

The three watercolor sketches above were done that weekend in East Hampton between swimming, laying down under the sun, and taking in some libations.  Not a bad way to live right? 
I miss sunny hot days, I feel like I'm at my happiest during summer months.  With winter now upon us I cover myself up in many layers and patiently await for warmer days to come.