"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Jan 19, 2011

Cranberry Bog in Progress

Work in progress, Windswept Cranberry Bog, Nantucket,    48" x 24"
Got back in the studio today as the snow continued outside. This is the second winter that I have had baseboard heat in there, and it is lovely not to have to rely on the space heater which always worried me around the oil paint and turpentine. Anyway, I am still glazing and layering the Nantucket cranberry bog painting, and am nearing completion. It is almost at the stage of "I think-it-is done-but-I-have-to-look-at it- downstairs-for-a-week-or-so.")The goal of painting in layers is to alter the appearance of one layer by putting another layer on top. The problem is, how much paint to use in the second layer? Too little, and the first layer will remain too strong; too much, and the first layer becomes obscured completely, defeating the purpose of painting in layers. Oil painting has the advantage over acrylics in my mind in that you can lay on heavy paint or impasto, then take some away, put it back again, play with it, to get the just the look you want, with interaction between layers, just enough of each color coming through from the pentimento. And rather than just layers, I like to glaze with medium mixed in with the paint, and even a little spirits spritzed on now and then.
This detail from the painting gives a better idea of what I am talking about.

Sadly, the glowing colors resulting from this approach do not really show up in these photos (it looks too muddy somehow) but it gives you an idea of the large painting that is involving me right now. I am also working an some small seascapes, and thinking about jumping into the Lily portrait once more.  To my small cadre of readers,
I WELCOME COMMENTS! That is the purpose of this blog -- to get out of the vacuum in which I work! Also, if you want to be a follower of this blog, you can click on that link on the right, but you might have to establish a google or yahoo account or something. Seems to be a glitch in this system that it is not made easy for everyone. I have also created a group (Reese paintings Blog) on Facebook so I can send posting alerts to some of you. 


  1. Stumbled upon your blog from VT Artzine. I like your work.

  2. Debbie, this really looks great. I like the palette a lot--and all your other paintings as well.