Saturday, March 10, 2007

model in profile

In my figure class this week we had our first male model, and the session was excellent. I did this small study from a 20 minute drawing, so it is fairly loose and vague, but I really liked the emotion of the pose.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I broke one of my own rules today. I swore to myself when I began this blog that I would not paint any fruits or flowers. Not that they are bad subjects, they are just not things I would typically paint. Today, however, it was so warm and beautiful that I ventured outside to find (much to my surprise) clusters of daffodils in the backyard. I desperately wanted an excuse to sit outside and paint, so I decided to break my own rule and paint this flower today. My fellow painters will relate to the joy I found in discovering a new color combination for the background: a blend of alizarin crimson and old holland golden green.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

blue skies

Today in Nashville the skies were blue and it felt like spring. I wanted to paint a blue sky piece to commemorate the day, and I chose an image that I photographed in Kentucky on Friday of some remarkable clouds. Even though it is not the exact sky that we had overhead today, I think the image embodies the freedom and awe of a sudden sunny day after many dreary ones.

bare fields

I am still experimenting with images from the Ohio trip this week. My father suggested we drive out to this farm, where a beautiful old farmhouse once stood. Now it is only a treeline at the top of the hill that distinguishes the landscape. I liked the small crust of snow that grazed the frozen mud in the field.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

icy day

I certainly liked the actual experience of this place better than the painting of it. Wanting to get in one last hike in Ohio (such close proximity to rural, unpopulated lands is too tantalizing), my father and I took the dogs out to the USDA research station where he works. We often walk there when I visit, since there are a few thousand acres of vacant land at the end of a highway and we usually have the place to ourselves on the weekends. This time he took me to a place I had not seen, down a hill through woods thick with deer (which my dog was thrilled to chase) and briars, to a small pond at the base of a valley, encircled by rolling bare hills. The timber had been cut in a wide swath near the pond's edge, leaving stark stumps and empty trunks towering above. It was a place of solitude...perhaps a little too much. I look forward to seeing it in the summertime, when the leaves and flowers are out and it seems more like a sanctuary than a cloister.

farm sunset

My father and I drove to some of my favorite painting spots this weekend after an afternoon hike in the woods. The air was frigid and the sun was setting as we reached a farm at the top of a hill near his house. I realized on this trip that many of my most favorite places to paint are within only a few miles of my childhood home, places I once rode a bicycle or passed by on the school bus. They will probably always hold a special significance.


This farm is at the end of the road I grew up on, and I drove or walked past it almost every day. I saw it change from soybeans to corn, year after year, and I always liked the way the land seemed to flow like a river into the distance. When I visited Ohio this weekend, there was often snow falling, clouding the air and dusting the ground. I really liked the effect it had on this nostalgic place.