Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Crestmoor Forsythias  (Plein air)

( 6x8 – Acrylic on canvas board – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $125 )

As with my last painting, I found my self in front of another bush that flowers before the leaves set: the forsythia. My palette has exploded with color! That quantity of living yellow ignites something primal stirring within us all, much more than 'springing forward' our clocks ever could. I was doing a drive by of Crestmoor Park in Denver, where I'd never been before, and this sight just stopped me in my tracks!

What a difference a couple days makes. On Saturday when I did this canvas, it was late afternoon and in the low 70's... Last night a front rolled through and dropped the temps to freezing and we got some snow! The ground is still warm and the streets and walks are now dry with most of the accumulation happening on the grass and natural areas is now melted. Thankfully most of the flowering trees and shrubs are doing okay. Even as the weather is of two minds this time of year, here in Colorado we are always wont to say, "Hey, we need the moisture..." 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Creekside Blossoms  (Plein air)

( 6x9 – Acrylic on canvas board – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $150 )

This is the fifth painting I've done in the area along Goldsmith Gulch. The previous two, House on the Hill and The Bushes say Spring, but the Trees are Not Convinced are nearby, just a little to the north. The small dark trees are still pretty bare but I saw this spot by the creek where a tangle of leafless shrubs had produced a spray of yellow white flowers. They set nicely against the stalks which had a purple cast to them. And the scent... Spring has arrived! Albeit slowly this year for which I am grateful. Typically we get Winter, then what feels like two weeks of Spring before we proceed to a long string of ninety degree days!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

It's so lovely...

Ah yes, you wonder...  As Denver's population is expected to grow an additional 20% in the next 20 years, we can only hope our city planners will incorporate more nature into our urban habitat. This cartoon is by Frank Modell, who contributed over 1,400 cartoons to the New Yorker over 50 years. He was a classically trained artist and passed away in 2016 at age 98.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth Day
"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on."   -- Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 19, 2019

House on the Hill  (Plein air)

( 6x8 – Acrylic on Canvasboard – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $125 )

I did this painting the same day right after my previous post of The Bushes say Spring, But the Trees are Not Convinced. The views are about 100 yards apart, although looking in different directions. I chose this asymmetrical composition with the troika of pines because they have more substance right now than all the still mostly bare deciduous trees. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein: There's more there, there.

The cool thing about painting outdoors is that you meet some really great people. Kate Toussaint came over to see what I was doing while finishing up House on the Hill... she has painted herself. During our conversation she mentioned she has an album out! It's wonderful music, guitar and voice with really nice harmonies and uplifting lyrics. The album notes state: "Surprisingly, Kate Toussaint never intended for you to hear any of these songs. She wrote them to teach herself positivity, finding her joy and creating the life of her dreams. Her friend and recording artist Jamie Shaak, heard them and was so profoundly moved by them that she asked Kate to share them. She produced this album as a gift to herself and to everyone that hears it. This album is truly transforming." And so it is. Joy is What You Love... 

To listen:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

"Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty, if only we have 
eyes to see them."    -- John Ruskin

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Bushes Say Spring,
But The Trees Are Not Convinced  (Plein air)

( 6x9 – Acrylic on canvas board – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $150 ) 

The weather here in Denver has been flirting with 70 degrees on several occasions, but we are having a late Spring. The lawns are greening up but due to several wet snowstorms the trees are being cautious. April is our second snowiest month. I was out looking for a spot to paint when I saw a young hawk gliding low over the small creek, shown in the foreground, so I followed along and set up my easel next to the stream and captured the light raking across the trees perched at the bottom of a small hill. The only colors visible were the pale green of the bushes and the light blue of the sky. Although the tree trunks had a breath of violet. I set up on a carpet of fallen leaves but my easel and camp stool ended up sinking several inches into the moist dark earth. The perfect growing medium for Spring to take root.

Friday, April 12, 2019

After the Rain

(4x12 – Acrylic on paper – CLICK HERE TO BID – Starting at $100)

I was in the Texas Hill country recently. I drove down near San Antonio with my brother. On the way back we never hit any storms but could see them all around. This scene in the Texas panhandle is a storm we just missed. The intense raking light as we drove into evening. A distant farmhouse silhouetted against the trees yet to leaf out, with a darkening sky and just a hint of a rainbow peaking over the the rising plain.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Nature Fix

I love this book! THE NATURE FIX is indeed a wonderful exploration on why nature in all its myriad forms does indeed make us happier, healthier and more creative. Florence Williams a former Boulder resident, who had moved to congested and noisy Washington DC was missing the trails and open spaces of Colorado. This became a genesis for her new book of why we feel so much better away from the city and out in nature. Her journey starts with Forest Bathing in Japan (see my 12/9 blog) and expands from there. She travels with various scientists and wise ones thru the US, UK, Sweden, Korea and beyond in pursuit of trying to understand and quantify the positive effect nature has on us.  She has a wonderful impish sense of humor and her engaging writing kept me turning the pages on this adventure with her.  As the world becomes more urbanized, I think this is a must read. Not just for landscape painters but for all who are enduring the maladies of the modern world and long for that connection that has been neglected or forgotten.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Return of Color - Daffodils

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

Out on a walk yesterday, these were the first daffodils that have presented themselves to me. Spring comes slowly to Colorado this year.