Monday, July 12, 2010

Encounter with an Old Apple Tree (oil on canvas, 2010)

I finished this last week, based on a series of pastel drawings that I did during late May and early June. I went back to this location a couple of weeks ago with a smaller canvas and the grass and weeds were so high that would have needed a machete to get anywhere near this tree. The neighborhood where I grew up in central Massachusetts abutted some land that had at one time been an apple orchard and I used to love finding old trees like this in overgrown fields and climbing up into them with my friends.

Still Life with Cheap Wine Jug (oil on canvas, 2010)

(Private Collection)
Painted in my studio last week during and after my Thursday evening open-studio class. Years ago, when I was in college, my focus was on printmaking and in an attempt to develop my own visual language, I spent a long time focused on monotypes and etchings of groupings of non-descript bottles, pitchers, mugs, etc. and then had a wonderful teacher introduce to the work of Giorgio Morandi, who continues to be an influence. (As a sidebar, I was down in New Haven, CT last Friday at the Yale University Art Gallery and spent about 20 minutes studying one of Morandi's still-life paintings.) This sort of work always brings back fond memories of those days.

Sherman Barn on an Overcast Day (oil on canvas, 2010)

I had a day out painting with a couple of my students a few weeks ago, down in Sherman. We set up in front of this old barn but the sky was covered in a thick blanket of dense whitish-gray cloud, threatening to rain at any minute. Luckily, we were able to work for a couple of hours before it started to sprinkle. We packed up and went back to one of the women's house for a critique (and some coffee!) and, of course, by the time I left to come home, the sun was shining in a clear blue sky.

Crooked Barn (2010, oil on canvas)

(Private Collection)
I did a painting of this barn earlier in the year, based on drawings that I did on location. This small painting (10 x 20) was done on location about three weeks ago. I find the S-curve of the roof line extremely interesting, but most people, when they see the paintings of this building, have trouble believing that it's really shaped like this, but I can assure you that it is.