Sunday, December 9, 2018

Forest Bathing

The book, Forest Bathing – How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, by Dr. Qing Li, associate professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, and chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine is amazing! I highly recommend this read. He was one of the first scientists in the mid 80's to study Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese term for Forest Bathing, which involves immersing yourself in a natural environment, using your five senses sans electronic devices and other distractions to decompress and restore. Tokyo is a particularly high stress environment, where people are being stuffed into commuter trains and workers are regularly dying from overwork. They have a word for that too: Karoshi. To counteract the detrimental effects of contemporary life, the Japanese have now set aside over 65 natural areas throughout Japan for the experience, which typically lasts from a few hours to several days. Dr. Li sites many studies from around the world of the positive effects trees and nature have on us. After all, the forest is where we evolved. Blood pressure and stress levels are reduced, immune and cardiovascular systems strengthened, energy, creativity, concentration and mood are improved. One study in London showed, in the areas that had more trees, fewer anti-depressants were prescribed! Even looking at pictures of trees has positive effects. I guess this is where I come in... Being an urban dweller myself, I feel the need, now more than ever, to spend more time in nature. That is why I have been painting more landscapes, both en Plein Air (outdoors) and in the studio. In some small way I hope to bring the healing power I feel in nature to the viewers of my work. Here's encouraging all to bundle up, get out there and commune with the natural world. Have you hugged a tree lately? 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Yellow Orange Red

(14.5 x 21.75 – Acrylic on Arches paper – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $550)

With every snow event, the colors outside my window continue to fade. But in my mind's eye, the memory of them burns brightly. 

This work is on Arches 140 lb Huile (oil) paper. Which is compatible with all mediums.
Image size is 14.5 x 21.75".  Paper size is 14.75 x 22.25".

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Garden Trees

(6x6 – Acrylic on Canvas board – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $100)

This is a piece I did last fall but never published. It gets its name from the trees' location near a multitude of raised bed gardens on the west side of the property where I live. The trees were 'early adopters' of the fall season, where most were yet to change...

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Quince Essential exhibit extended thru the end of the year

By popular demand, my co-exhibit of paintings and prints, (along with paintings by Sarah Margaret Wade), has been extended thru the end of 2018 at Quince Essential Coffee House. Swing by, have a cup and enjoy some art...

Quince Essential Coffee House
1447 Quince Street, Denver, CO 80220 (1 block east of Quebec)
Hours: M-F 6:30am-6pm, Sat & Sun 8am-6pm, First Saturdays 8am-9pm 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Leaf Halo

(12x8 – Acrylic on Arches paper – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $150)

I've seen this several times. Coming up the walk to my place this time of year I'm always looking down to see what little gems of nature's debris the trees have left me. On these occasions I was greeted with a moist halo surrounding the negative space where leaves once were.  I'm sure there is a term for this phenomenon, but as best I can figure, the dew runs off the leaf creating the 1/4" or so halo and the wind blows the now lighter leaf away before the halo evaporates. In arid Colorado this is not a usual sight. Nature never ceases to amaze!

This acrylic work was created on Arches Huile (oil) paper, a 140lb (300gsm) cold pressed stock that is 100% cotton and acid free, and is suitable for oil based mediums, and acrylics, without priming. The image size of this piece is 12 x 8 inches, with the paper size roughly 13.5 x 11.5 inches

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                     -- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pinkie & Blue Boy  (Donated)

 7x5 –  Acrylic on Canvas board

Pinkie & Blue Boy is a painting I did for, and donated to, a service group in Chama, New Mexico who are raising money to buy new winter coats for under privileged kids in their area. They are selling holiday cards with this image: 10 for $15. The original painting as well as giclee prints are available for sale. The group is also taking financial donations. 

To purchase or donate, please contact Smokey at 303-520-4561 or email Thank you for your kindness and generosity!

The title of the painting was borrowed from Thomas Gainsborough's famous portraits...