"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 12, 2011


    Morning Lights   Triptych -- three 8"x 8" panels

Snow is falling thickly, creating  a whiteout from the windows. We are happy being marooned, because our daughter and almost 5-year-old grandson are here. Soup is simmering on the stove, and the plan is to make cookies later. The fireplace will soon be in use. Painting is on the back burner while they are here. 
More Last Than Star...    18" x 24"
Snow is usually pure joy up here. A winter in Vermont without a lot of snow is no good, no fun. A year or so ago, I explored painting snow, and became amazed at the many different colors besides white that there were. It is the time of year to get back into that study I think. Here are a few of my past snow paintings. You can see there is almost no white in them. The top triptych, Morning Lights sold through the now defunct Pegasus Gallery in Quechee, is oil over canvas embellished with fine tissue paper, almost like the paper pears are wrapped in. It is so small here you cannot see much detail, or the suggested lights from hidden houses. And the colors in the original are definitely not so garish. The lower one is ...more last than star... (or ....more first than sun--- quotes from an e.e.e cummings poem)  24" x 18". In the 80's I had a whole, very large show of the oversized organic floral paintings I was doing then, and all the titles were from Cummings' poems. He is an important influence in my life, and I still steal lines of his poetry for painting titles now and then.

The hues found in snow are usually within the violet spectrum, and consist of blues, violets, alizarins, and similar cool colors. If a painting contains substantial areas of snow, washing on on a warm imprimatura as a first layer will add depth to these cool colors. 
Windows Filled with Vanished Days   18" x 18" 
Adding a little burnt sienna, Old Holland warm grey light or OH Naples yellow  to titanium white will result in a glowing creamy color often seen in the sunnier areas, as in the foreground of the oil painting to the left,  This piece one of a series of winter buildingscapes I did a few years back, many of which were of the disappearing old barns and farmhouses in the Vermont landscape. These are far more representational than most of my landscape work.

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