I recently finished this small oil painting based on the Roman Pines that I saw on our trip to Italy. I took a lot of liberty with the colors. This past fall I was noticing, as I do every year, the vivid yellows in the trees here in Atlanta. Yellow is a standout color for me especially against a blue sky. I wanted to include those colors in a piece and I wanted to do another Roman Pines painting so I combined the two. Couldn’t help but be influenced again by Georgia O’Keeffe. I call it “Transitioning”.
Oil on masonite board, 11″ x 14″
When we landed in Rome on our trip to Italy I noticed the very tall trees in the distance with slender trunks and a canopy way up top. I found out later that they are Roman pines. Since we left immediately for Tuscany I didn’t get to see them again until we came back to Rome to stay for a few days before coming home. I fell in love with these trees! My friend Paul, who was with us, called them “Jack trees” because he knows the kind of trees I love to paint—expressive ones.
I was out one night with Bob while he was doing some night photography and I asked him to take a few shots on the trees looking up from below. They were being lit by street lights and looked very different than they did during daylight. I just finished my first painting from the photos. I knew, even when I saw the trees that night, that I was being inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting, The Lawrence Tree, which I’ve always thought was oriented so that the trunk comes up from the bottom. According to several sources it should be the other way around. like this—
Georgia O'Keeffe - The Lawrence Tree
I did this small painting last weekend. This was a house that was next to where we were staying in Provincetown last May. It had a very large deck that was right on the harbor. It’s a large one bedroom house on the market for $2.1 million!
The time of day was late afternoon so the sun was casting yellow highlights on the weathered wood shingles that covered the sides and roof of the house. Weathered wood shingles always remind me of Cape Cod.
“Through the Window”, oil on board, 5″ X 7″
Through the Window
A recent oil painting done from my trip to Provincetown this past May. The photo after it is what my palette looked like when the painting was complete. I thought the similarities were interesting.
Little White House, oil on board. 8″ X 10″
Little White House
Second in a series of structures in Provincetown, MA.
Oil on prepared 300 lb. watercolor paper. 10″ x 10.5″
Green and Gray (Provincetown, MA)
These are the last two paintings I completed that I’ll be showing in the next exhibit at the gallery opening April 2, 7pm to 10pm. I’ll be showing with three very talented artists Bob and I first saw at the Telephone Factory Art Show & Sale last Dec—Alex Leopold, Demone Phelps and Stacie Uhinck Rose.
It feels great getting back to oil painting! Please join us at the opening! I’ll have 10 to 11 small paintings at affordable prices.
Cape Morning - oil on paper - 14.5" x 10"
Crow Flies - oil on masonite - 9" x 12"
This is another in my series of paintings of buildings. This one is larger, 28″ x 12″.
water towers - oil on paper - 28" x 12"
It’s funny how when I started to oil paint again I started out with similar subjects that I was doing with collage—shapes, hands, etc., even trying to emulate the textures from the papers I used in collage. Then I went into familiar subjects that I use to paint like trees and landscapes and shadows. Then I found my photos of buildings that I had taken in New York from about 12 years ago. I had put them away thinking I might use them as inspiration some day.
I remember the first time I saw Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of New York City buildings. I was so amazed. I hadn’t even known she painted subjects like that and it was inspiring to see how she interpreted them.
I love Edward Hooper’s paintings of buildings. The quietness of them and how each window in a building is an individual. Each window has its own character.
Edward Hopper - House at Dusk
Not that I’m comparing myself to Hopper and O’Keeffe! They’re two artists that have always influenced and inspired me. So it looked like buildings was/is the next step in painting for me. Here’s the photo I used for my next painting.
Even though I’m intimidated by how complex buildings can be, part of the challenge is searching through the complexity and pulling out what I find interesting. I plan on using the photo for several paintings. I think it has a lot of potential for many pieces. The painting below is one I completed this past weekend.
Rooftops - oil on paper - 17" x 9"
I seem to get bored working in a single medium. I cycle through them when I feel like I don’t have anything else to “say” in that medium and then switch to another. So, I’m putting collage on hold for now and going back to oil paints. I love everything about oil paints; the frosting-like feel as I put it on the canvas, the smell of the linseed oil, figuring out which colors to mix to get the one I’m looking for. I don’t like having to clean up after using them though.
I haven’t used oil paints in several years so I was feeling kind of rusty and anxious about painting on a canvas. When I’m confronted with a canvas I feel like I have to create a “masterpiece”. My friend Sue suggested (she likes to suggest) that I paint on heavy watercolor paper for now so I don’t feel like I have to create a masterpiece each time. “Just paint Jack!” Those words echo through my head when I sit in front of a blank piece of paper. “Just paint Jack.”
I pulled out some old photos that I’ve used before as reference material and used them again to get the drawing down. They are mostly black and white photos so I was able to dream up my own color palettes.
So, here is my first batch in order as they were created. Some are good. Some not so good.
Shadows I - oil on paper - 8" x 14"
Shadows II - oil on paper - 7" x 12"
Piedmont Park in Snow - oil on paper - 12" x 10"
Snow Walk - oil on paper - 9.5" x9.5"
Shadows III - oil on paper - 6" x 13"
New York City Building - oil on paper - 11" x 8"