Thursday, October 14, 2010

Evolution of a painting

Studio Update

It's been quite awhile since I let you peek into my art studio. I've been busy!

Let's start with the "Sentinels" painting from my "Warped Nature" series. I was unhappy with my first version for several reasons. First, the birch trees looked too cartoony. I have nothing against cartoons, but it was not the look I was going for. Second, I didn't like the outer area. So, I put it on the back burner for awhile, letting my brain work on it when I wasn't looking. Don't you love it when your brain does that?

One thing my brain suggested was to create leaf prints from my birch trees in the yard. I just felt like playing around with leaf prints - remember doing them when you were a kid? Then, I decided to play with masking techniques, trying some new ways of using a liquid frisket after I had applied paint. This was the fun result:

My brain suggested trying the "Sentinels" painting again using leaf prints as the outer area, clustering the birch trees rather than spreading them apart, and painting them a little more realistically, but still emphasizing the human quality of their "eyes".

So here is the new version of "Sentinels". I'm much happier with it.

I've also started painting my Centennial Trail pieces, starting with this one:

I used my new masking techniques on the background. This close up shows the background a little more clearly. I'm very happy with this little painting.

I'm working on a couple of Centennial Tail pieces right now. These pieces are all from September/October, between mile markers 9 - 13. My plan is to visit the trail at different times of the year. One of the blessings of this project is that I have grown to appreciate the complexities and color of even the most mundane plants.


  1. I like this version of the Sentinels a little more, too - those leaves are beautiful. And that first Centennial Trail piece is exquisite. Look at all the texture in the background!

  2. (that was Kate, by the way - signed into the wrong account)

  3. Your new version of the "Sentinels" reminds me of a quilt, with a center panel and a large border. Now if I could just find material like that!