A study in quiet light and color.
A study in quiet light and color.
Looking through a forest of green, the light illuminates one tree trunk.
A warm, sunny day with the light dappling the shade on the road through the orchard. One of my favorite views to paint.
Spring, 6×8-inch ceramic tile
There are many ways to acquire beautiful, affordable works of art.
I have created a series of ceramic fine art tiles depicting the landscape of the Shenandoah. All are made from my original pastel paintings. They come in 6×8 and 8×10-inches, depending on the scene. The tiles are durable and can be framed or hung as is, displayed on a small easel, or used in an installation with other tiles. They make wonderful gifts.
Contact me here for more information about purchasing fine art tiles.
Bethel Evening, 6×8 inches
Cedar Creek Autumn, 6×8 inches
Oh!Shenandoah, 6×8 inches
Beach House, 6×8 inches
Flora, 8×6 inches
Dawn’s Evening, 8×10 inches
Little Springhouse at Fishers Hill, Winter, 8×10 inches
Signal Knob from Long Meadow Road, 8×10 inches
Arrival of Settlers, Strasburg, Virginia Commemorative Tile, 8×10 inches
Lovely moss in the Shenandoah River dreamily waves like the hair of a hidden water creature.
It has been green all summer in my little corner of the Shenandoah Valley. The landscape is lush and full.
The nearby Shenandoah River is having a green season too.
As a child, I remember swimming in the river in summer. The river moss was underwater here and there, clinging to rocks and I remember the strange sensation as it drifted back and forth, tickling my ankles. That was more than 50 years ago and I’m sure the moss was a natural part of the life of the river.
I visited the Shenandoah recently and was stunned by the nearly solid carpet of green mossiness on the river bottom. It was mesmerizing to watch the strands flow gently back and forth as the water current swept over them. I imagined several paintings.
I’d like to think all this mossiness is still a natural part of the life of our beautiful river; that late summer means the water level is lower and the temperature is warmer and so moss grows. I don’t want to think that its overabundance is because of global warming or fertilizer products pouring into it from the fields along its banks or cattle upstream standing in it and doing their own fertilizing. I don’t want to think that the moss is choking out other river life.
If these things are so, I hope they can be fixed.
All that moss may be bad for our river but I still can’t help reveling in the emerald beauty that I see.
Click here for a short video.
North Fork of the Shenandoah River looking downstream toward Massanutten Mountain and Signal Knob.
Here is number two in my newest painting series.
In an earlier post I talked about how the muse of the sky has been urging me for some time to paint the spectacle above me and show you the cloudscape above my beloved Shenandoah landscape.
I hope you are enjoying these images. Comments are welcome.
When I am working on a pastel landscape painting, I adhere to certain rules I’ve set for myself. One of these rules is I will not show a painting until I believe it is finished. I’m getting more flexible as I get older though (in my mind, not in my body!), and thought it would be interesting to show you the versatility of the pastel medium. The first image is of a painting I have been working on for more than a week. I’ve even had the audacity to put my signature on it. But there is so much that is wrong with it I can’t bear to put it out in the world just yet.
As sometimes happens when I try to follow the reference photo too closely, the scene just does not work right to express what I feel and what I want to describe to you. Rather than trying to fix what is there I have removed the offending areas and will rework the composition. And here is one of the things I love about pastel and the surface that I use: I took the painting outside and laid it on the picnic table. I then lightly brushed off the pastel from the areas I want to redo and followed that with an erasing of some of the areas down to the original paper surface. This, of course, creates a lot of dust but being outside on a windy March morning takes care of it. Hopefully, I will have a new and improved version of this painting to show you in a few days.
The original painting showing an uncomfortable composition with unhappy trees.
After erasing and brushing and blowing. Out of doors, of course.
I have left alone those elements of the painting I consider to be “good”. Now is when my imagination and knowledge of the local landscape come into play since I will not be using a reference photo any longer. Stay tuned…
I love the look of the fields this time of year. All the rich, earthy colors of autumn have finally faded to a bleached, pale tawny shade with underlying hints of green showing in the hay fields. The distant mountains almost fade into the thin blue of the sky while rows of oaks and other deciduous trees appear deep mauve in color. Against all that starkness the ubiquitous cedars stand out, their varied shapes and shades of color calling attention to a normally overlooked native tree.
I’m continuing with explorations in charcoal. This one is done on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. Of the 3 surfaces I’ve used (pastel paper, watercolor paper, and drawing paper) I like this one best because of its smoothness, although the watercolor paper was really nice for creating textures in the landscape.
I am using vine charcoal and compressed charcoal to create these pieces.
…that spring will be here in a few weeks. Today is cold and dark and the ground is covered with white–not with lovely snow but crunchy, slippery ice. From the studio window I can see layers of landscape rolling toward the mountains, each layer successively paler in color until the last visible ridge of the Massanutten fades into a light gray sky. The weather is temporary though and we have much to look forward to. For your enjoyment I have posted an image from a trip to an older neighborhood in Maryland. I imagine the folks who live here must dream about this all year. I know I would.
A Maryland Spring