Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Life at the Old Well

This post is in honor of my daughter, Colleen, who just started her third year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill :).

 With my camera in hand and an eye on the light I wandered the UNC campus on a beautiful spring day last year and enjoyed the liveliness of students hurrying to class, studying in the grassy quads, listening to guitar music, participating in a silent protest march, and questioning an itinerant preacher.  I took dozens of photos, but the sunlight on the white columns of The Old Well, combined with the brilliant red azaleas, caught my eye the most.  
Here's the photo I decided to use for my reference:

And here's my artistic rendition:
New Life at the Old Well, 18x24 Oil, Sold

And here are our three UNC Tarheels this summer :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Misty Hay Day

If you haven't been to Damascus (Virginia that is!) and biked the Virginia Creeper Trail, I highly recommend it!  Matthew and I took a van to the top of a mountain and then pretty much applied brakes for 18 miles as beautiful views passed by.  Not exactly aerobic exercise, but if you want that then you can always skip the van and bike up :)

We saw this view on the second day, though, when the terrain was fully pedal-powered.

I was drawn to the way the delicate, misty background gave added weight and substance to the foreground hay bales, as well as the way the gravel path leads from one to the other. 

I started with thin oil paint and sketched the basic placement of the main objects:

Since I knew I wanted to keep the background soft, I began with the sky and subtly worked my way down so that I could better judge how dark the hay bales should be.

After completing the rest of the painting I tweaked the background a bit and am really pleased with the "mood" of this painting, even though it's not my traditional subject of sunlight and shadows.
Misty Hay Day, 8x10 Oil, available

Here's the photo vs. oil painting for easy comparison.