Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Creek in November ~

This is oil on linen, 36" x 42" ~ about half finished. (lots of twigs and ripples left to work on!) I've painted this one section of Pitman Creek, near my house, many times now. I never tire of the views there. Painting this made me think of my longtime friend Doug, who owns several of the paintings of the creek, and my Mom, who loved the grays and browns of November.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Knobs with Clouds ~

Looking East from Dandyland ~

Carving in progress ~ Reynardine ~

Shane & I are working on this sandstone carving of Reynardine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Crowman ~

A walk to Pitman Creek ~

Beechlight ~

Collection of Lori Cunnigan Prather ~

I go back and forth between loving willows and beechtrees. It depends on where I am. Here on the hill, the beeches have it. They are such beautiful trees. Sometimes at sunset the smooth silver-gray bark is illuminated with a glowing copper light that matches the color of the winter leaves. Yes, winter leaves ~ some beeches hold onto their leaves through the season. Gradually the autumn copper fades to a ghostly pale gold, almost white. It's wonderful to hear their fluttering hiss in blowing snow.

This is oil on linen canvas, 36" x 42."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pine Blanket Chest with Raincrows and Honeysuckle ~

Jake Shackleford made this pine blanket chest & I painted the raincrows and honeysuckle on it. It's a container linking the content of two songs - "Raincrows" from The Faun, and "Keep the Wild Honeysuckle" from You'll Always Come Back.

Jake adapted his pattern from Pennsylvania-Dutch blanket chests made in the mid-1800s. The raincrows converge Pennsylvania-Dutch "fraktur" designs with a bit of Audubonesque bird-torquing. I couldn't help singing a song I learned from Jean Ritchie while I was painting:

"The cuckoo, she's a pretty bird -
she sings as she flies.
She brings us glad tidings,
and she tells us no lies.
She sucks all pretty flowers
to make her voice clear
and she never sings cuckoo
till the spring of the year."

The pigments are all made of clays and minerals - green earth, naples yellow, yellow ochre, ivory black, zinc white, and a tiny bit of cobalt, in honor of the Kobold, spirit of the mines.

You can listen to "Raincrows" here:

Raincrow is the dandyland name for the bird more commonly known as the yellow-billed cuckoo. Their croaking calls presage summer showers.

Limestone Lantern Yokai ~

Here's the Limestone Lantern that Shane & I have been carving. It's a commission, destined for a moss garden. The base has already been installed at the site. Once I get the cap to fit correctly, we'll take it to the moss garden and cut a slot in the base to hold the lantern in place. Maybe it's because the stack is so odd and slanty, but this lantern seems to have a personality. In Japan there are all sorts of monstery things that haunt particular sites, from ghosts to creatures to animate musical instruments to hybrid who-knows-whats, called Yokai. I can't wait to see if the candle inside it makes the eye project a raybeam!