Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rain Trees

I have been spending a lot of time sitting in my yard, studying the pine trees, especially the way the afternoon sun turns the branches a glowing orange. Those afternoon sits became the inspiration for my painting, Pine Trees.

The last few times I went outside it was raining. Not a heavy rain but instead that dreary, misty drizzle. I noticed how different the trees looked. The orange and yellow replaced by blues and purples. I thought this would be as interesting a study.

Rain Trees 4’x3’ mixed media (paint, pastel, colored pencil)

This is a detail of the lower branches.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pine Trees

Every afternoon I sit in my backyard and gaze up at the pine trees. As the sun starts to set, the trees begin to glow orange and yellow. I stare and stare trying to figure out the shadows and the colors.

It’s only when the sun is just right that the trees look this way. Soon the sun will duck down behind the horizon and the trees will go grey.

Detail of the pine trees. 4'x3' mixed media (paint, pastels, colored pencil)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Turtle Tank

Below are a few sketches of my turtle tank. The turtle tank is a good way to draw nature from life in the winter. It's much warmer inside than in the backyard. Plus the tank is on my desk so I just plop my sketchbook down and draw.

This is the baby musk turtle forging for food at the bottom of the tank. People think turtles are slow but this guy moves around a lot. I'm starting to understand why Monet focused on landscapes :)

This is the other turtle in the tank, the one from the photo above. Here I sketched him sun bathing on his log. He's much easier to sketch when holding still.

I bought these swamp plants from Lowes last summer. I originally purchased them for the pond outback but wasn't sure how well they would hold up over the winter. The turtles seem to like it and it makes an interesting subject to sketch.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

National Gallery

I recently took my Art History class to the National Gallery in Washington DC. We had a great time. You can see some photos from the trip on the Apex High School Art blog.

After two tours with a break for lunch in the middle, we all had a little free time to wander the museum. I found myself back in the Monet room. I not only found my favorite painting of the gallery, but I can nail it down to my favorite brushstroke.

See that little stroke of blue on the bottom of the bridge? There is just something about the way the blue reacts with the burgundy that gives me a warm fuzzy. I have no idea why. I just love the combination. I sat there and stared for a long time.

This is a detail from a work by Odilon Redon. I really like his work, the colors and the style. It makes me happy.
Winter Fox

Bird's eye view (Phoenix is a bird, right?) of a fox finding its way through a maze of birch trees.
4' x 3' Mixed media: watercolor, pastel, oil pastel, colored pencil

Detail of the fox

Detail of the branches