EARLY MORNING LIGHT
This image comes from memories of trips that my family used to make on the weekends. We would all pile into the car and head off to the Blue Ridge Mountains for the day. Sometimes it was to pick peaches, sometimes to visit civil war sites, and sometimes just to explore the beautiful region. We always started really early and I recall that the light made everything sort of silvery. It was as if there were a blanket of mist covering everything.
Anyway … in those days there was nothing like the build up of housing that we see today in that region. Everything was really pretty rural and hardscrabble. The roads were not so wide, and the traffic was pretty sparse. The farms along our route were sort of rough and a step away from falling down. There might have been the occasional single pump gas station, or old general store with a wooden front porch. But remember, I am old enough that this would have been at a time when recovery from WWII meant that a lot of men had …BOUGHT THE FARM… a term that means that when the government paid death benefits to the family of a servicemen lost in war, it quite often meant that the family of the deceased could pay off any outstanding mortgage … in effect they could buy the farm. But that also meant that most often there was no longer a young man to work the farm. Hence the general aura of disrepair that prevailed.
However, the effect of that early morning light, and the misty quality of those mornings caused even the most derelict of rundown farmhouses to appear adorned in glory. I have seen the same effect when traveling through hilly terrain during the early morning anywhere the seasonal change from hot days to cool nights causes this glorious morning light. Every body raves about a beautiful sunrise, but this is a whole different thing. This is about the sky giving a benediction to the earth.
Here the effect of the pearly morning light was achieved by painting over a darker night sky and leaving the darkness to grip the morning light at the edges, just as it fades from view. I like the tension that this achieves. I also drew into the wet paint to give the details a delicate feel, in keeping with the lightness of the air. In the end this work proved to be a very delicate, but captivating image.
HOME FROM THE FARM
Lately, I have found that i really enjoy the process of creating landscapes entirely from memory. After years of painting from reference photos, it is exciting to manipulate reality to fit how the memory looks in my minds eye.
These landscapes are my most recent, and represent three entirely different places in entirely different times, and yet they live concurrently in my memory bank of images. By looking at them next to each other it is evident that I like to simplify and rub off the rough edges and keep only certain parts of a memory. I would suppose that everyone does much the same thing, but in my case it is part of the design process.
The process of designing and creating these landscapes means that certain elements take precedence and come into prominence as the work takes shape. In most cases I am unaware until well into the process what features will become key. Afterwards I always know when it is right, because it fits the memory and feels complete, even if parts have had to be eliminated.
It is a challenge to make these memories come alive, and to be able to share them with others in such a complete way, is very satisfying. Enjoy!
HEAVY WEATHER 18X24 $900
The impact of weather approaching over the long flat expanses of the Midwest has a very unique feel, and it is a very strong visual memory.
My family spent some time in Kansas City, Kansas. I was initially amazed that it was so cosmopolitan and yet a heartbeat away you were in the plains … looking at farmland for as far as you could see. That was a long time ago of course, and I’m sure much has changed … but the memory is still as strong as ever.
This piece expresses much the same sense of an unchanging and changeable world. The sense of an invincible and staunch world at the mercy of weather and circumstances is never more visible than in the lone barns and homes that dot the landscape of the plains.
I like the concept of the buildings standing strong against whatever weather comes. These barns are seasoned warriors.They hang in there whatever comes.
I guess I will never really stop with the landscapes … even as I continue exploring life in precarious times. And, I suppose that this landscape is no different … after all life on a the Great Plains can be precarious indeed.