Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh the Beautiful Grays of Winter....

There's an amazing thing that happens in a Midwest winter.  The color of the landscape gradually becomes more and more muted until there is almost no color at all.  That's when we can enjoy the beauty in the vast variety of grays: warm taupe y grays, cool blue grays, piercing midnight grays, and the most delicate soft, soft off whites.  

"Winter Reflection on Moot's Creek", oil on linen canvas, 20" x 16"

Snow, wonderful snow, is a major contributor to this huge range of values and textures:  as it falls quietly, or in a blizzard, or blows across the prairie, rising as well as falling.  Dead and dormant plant life, sunlight or the lack of it, and snow---that's it.  I've been wanting to try to capture those qualities on canvas-the soft gray landscape with just the hint of color.  When I look at the winter landscape, many times I think there is no color at first, but then I see it, the evergreen spruce or pale golden grasses.

The creek just west of Brookston, IN is Moot's Creek.  The little bridge that crosses it gives a painter a perfect vantage point.  When the sun is out, the shadows are dramatic on the snow,  but when it's overcast with a light snow falling, that's when all the grays are there to relish.

"Moot's Creek in January", oil on linen canvas, 18" x 24"

I hope you have some beautiful landscapes nearby this winter which are full of many grays .  As always, you can see all my paintings on my web site   Thank you for viewing my paintings and reading my rambles.  If you know of others who might like to get this artist blog, please pass this along to them, and you know I love to read your comments.   Next week I fly to Eugene, Oregon for two to three months to help my sister.  (My husband, Howard, will hold down the homestead and continue to build the addition on it.)  Spring is in the air there already in Oregon; flowers start to appear in February.  Nature never stands still.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Eli Lilly Estate "Oldfields" from the Canal

With this post, I thought it would be interesting to show you a recently finished painting along with a view of my studio and the progressive stages of painting it.  This painting is of the Eli Lilly home and estate called "Oldfields" which the Lilly family gave to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for the permanent sight of the modern, large art museum.  The estate encompasses many acres, with beautiful formal gardens and stately old trees, in which visitors are welcome to wander at their leisure. It's an amazing place and not to be missed when visiting Indianapolis. ( ) This view of the mansion is from the rear as it sits high above a canal that takes water from the White River to the center of Indianapolis for the cities water supply.   Because the painting is large (18" x 24") and the scene is in December, I took a photo of the scene which I used as a photo reference to paint in my studio.
"Oldfields from the Canal", Oil on linen canvas, 18" x 24"

This is my studio.  The painting on the easel is about a third complete.  You can see my computer with the photo reference in the center and my paints and brushes on the right, complete with coffee cup.   Now I'll show you the initial drawing of the scene on the canvas, drawn with a brush and oil paint thinned with odorless  turpentine.

And here are the other progressive stages of painting during the development to the finished scene:

 It was very, very cold that day, and you're probably wondering how I got to the other side of the canal.  Well, there is a little foot bridge some distance to the right of this view.  I hope you can feel the cold dry air and the wind whipping along the canal as I can remember the day.   Painting winter scenes in my studio with a hot cup of coffee is much more pleasurable than being out there in the weather. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my painting process.  Thank you for viewing my paintings and for your interest.  Remember that I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and comments, and hope you'll pass this along to friends who might be interested as well.  You can see all my paintings on my web site

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Exhibition at the Hoosier Salon Gallery Jan 12--Feb 27th

This month I'm delighted to be in an exhibition at the Hoosier Salon Gallery in Wabash, IN with two other painters, Gwen Gutwein and Diane Overmyer.  The exhibition, titled "Reflections of the Land" will be on display from January 12---February 27th at 111 West Market St, Wabash, IN, phone for hours open  (260-563-0454).  There'll be a reception on Sunday, Jan. 16th from 3-5pm. This gallery is in a beautifully restored group of buildings in the center of the city with a gorgeous Victorian hotel and fine restaurant next door and a old fashioned cafe/soda fountain and a wine shop on the other side.  Here are a couple of new paintings that are on display.
"Voyageur on the Wabash", Oil on linen canvas, 16" x 20" $2300 framed in gold leaf
(the view of a Voyageur canoe with hand held sail floating down the Wabash at the Feast of the Hunters Moon reenactment harvest festival this past October at Ft. Ouiotenon, outside Lafayette, IN)

"After the Rain", Oil on linen canvas, 24" x 18", $2200 framed in gold leaf
(a view of cliffs and caves at Turkey Run State Park in the spring)

"Winter in the Lilly Gardens", Oil on linen Canvas, 16" x 20", $2900 framed in silver leaf
(view of the gardens at Oldfields, the Lilly estate that is now the home of the Indianapolis Museum of Art)

I know some of you live very far away, but I hope those of you who live in northern Indiana and southern Michigan will have an opportunity to go.  Wabash is in the center of the north half of Indiana. If you can't make it to the gallery, you can see all my paintings on my web site at  Thank you for viewing my art. Remember that I always like to hear from you, and  please share this with your friends.