Monday, November 26, 2018

This November has offered a variety of weather in my corner of Pennsylvania.  There have been warm, colorful days, very dark rainy days, very cold/below freezing days and snow days.  Barry and I are still moving leaves down to the street for leaf truck pickup (thank goodness for this service).  In between autumn garden chores, I make time to just enjoy the show even if it's just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in the studio, I have been working out how to finish an oil painting I started some months ago.  It's a cityscape of some odd shaped buildings I photographed in Vilnius, Lithuania.  I like the photograph very much, but want to express something of the energy that went through me when I first saw these buildings clustered together at odd angles.  I may or may not get there, but the effort I'm sure will pay off somewhere down the line.

Needless to say, I love images.  I continually create them through photography and save interesting ones from magazines, catalogs, or scan them from books.  After years, I realized that the collection was  unwieldy and finally culled them down to a reasonable collection.  Now that there aren't so many choices, it's easier to start creating.  I finished a large collage I started last year and then quickly knew what I wanted to do for the next two smaller ones( in the roughly  11" x 14" size).

Eyes Left - Collage and Paint on Canvas

Pattern and Memory No. 1

Venice with Owl

The Annual Juried Exhibit at the York Art Association, York, PA continues through the middle of December.  Details are in an earlier post or at  My painting "Venice: Morning Sky Water" is among the works.  The Framers' Workshop at South York Shopping Plaza, York, PA has a special exhibit up for the holidays and they invited me to exhibit three pieces.  It opened this past Saturday, but I haven't seen it myself yet.  Will get over there today.

And lastly, here are some quotations I came across recently that I'm adding to my quotations page.

"To feel and think and learn--learn always:  surely that is being alive and young in the real sense."
       --Freya Stark    (I recently read her book, THE LYCIAN SHORE.)

"Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture."
      --Mario Buatta      (interior designer who passed away recently)

"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out load."
      --Emile Zola

Enjoy this last week of November!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This month I have been collecting images/designs with warm and cool grays  I was particularly inspired by an early September visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  Of course, I took a good number of photos, but it was the being there that is still with me.  Even though I am very much in the moment of autumn and the vibrant warm colors I can see from my office window right now, I just have to share these calm, meditative images.  I'm still using Mpix for printing and can't wait to see them enlarged.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Now that weather has cooled off I'm getting into autumn chores and feelings.  Have brought in some of the autumn foliage, acorns and even some fallen branches.  I'm particularly interested in branches that suggest a character.  I'm painting them an almost malachite green.  They look great as plant markers for the small transplants in the woodland garden.  I will post a photo of them next time.  The above drawing is from more than 30 years ago---a kitchen table arrangement I drew on newsprint.  Newsprint does not keep well.  If I had known how much I would still like this drawing so many years later, I would have used good quality paper.  The paper has yellowed badly.

Big news for me is that one of my paintings was selected for the York Art Association's annual juried exhibit.  The painting is titled "Venice - Morning Sky and Water".  I posted this one as well as two others in the Venice series a few posts back.  The painting is also included in the "Paintings" pages on this site.  If you live in the area, do see this if you can.  It is always an outstanding exhibit and I am so pleased to be a small part of it.

And because it is raining today, here is my award winning photo of my brother's dogs entitled "Safety Patrol".  Time flies!  I took this photo 11 years ago and entered it in a the York Camera Club competition where it won Second Prize.  This is a cropped version.

Cheers for now!

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Greetings

Autumn is my favorite season, but still it was hard saying good-bye to summer.  This past summer gave us more than ample rain which helped me fulfill my project of transplanting numerous ferns and moss to the upper woodland path.  Barry has helped with this too and we can already feel something of the spirit of the Japanese strolling gardens we enjoyed this past May. The many rainy days provided time for reading, writing, photography and paining.  I think this might have been my most productive summer with art to date.  I'm still fascinated with creating double exposure/blended photographs like the one above and as well as others that I posted here earlier.  Since my last post I have ordered enlargements of my favorites and feel I have the makings of an exhibit.  Here are others:

Hakone House, Japan

Kyoto House, Japan

Nara, Japan

Fish Industry Think Tank, Reykjavik

Here is  a painting I started work on two or three years ago.  The photo reference came from a trip to Scotland several years ago.  We were in the far north along the coast near Bettyhill.  We had gorgeous sun and the usual coastal wind that day.  The unfinished canvas sat so long that I totally lost interest in finishing it.  At some point this summer I noticed it and kept noticing it every time I walked into the studio.  Then it happened, I knew what it needed and finished it--finally!

North Coast--Scotland
Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20"

And here are two scenes of early Autumn in my corner of the world.  

Wish I had time to photograph all the mushrooms this season.  They have been amazing.  Perhaps I can capture a few.  Until next time.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Forgive me if I posted the above photo before, but it happens to fit with the theme of this post--blending photos.  Blending photos is my current favorite creative activity if I don't have time to work in the studio--and that's a lot of time.  Photography has been second nature to me for so long, I can't imagine living without it.  Which brings me to my current fascination with blending photos.  I've blended and manipulated photos in Adobe Photoshop for years, but since getting an iPhone, I've experimented with some of the photography apps available.  My favorites right now are Photoshop Express, VSCO-X and the Diana app.  I will sometimes use these apps in combination when creating an image.  Below are some examples from photos I took in Japan this past May.  If I don't mention what photo I blended with the principal photo, it's because I can't remember at the moment.

Shop keepers hanging lanterns blended with a bamboo forest.

Street fashion in Kanazawa

Shop window in Kanazawa.

Fashion in Kanazawa train station with a temple view.

Mt. Fuji with a scene from a river in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto.

Mt. Fuji with a photo of a dinner we had in Hakone.

Young women wearing kimonos with a closeup of pale flowers.

A three-hundred year old house in Kameoka (suburb of Kyoto) where a famous samurai once lived.

Enjoy these last two days of August!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

More on Japanese Art

This view of Lake Ashi with Mt. Fuji emerging from clouds is another piece of photographic art from my fellow traveler, Jim Hull.  I am traveling so light these days that I only carry an iPhone as a camera.  Jim brought a full camera bag with DSLR and multiple lens.  At our hotel, he spent hours in the garden taking photos of Mt. Fuji at various times and light.  He was patient and determined and his work paid off.  Before starting this post I went through all my photos of Lake Ashi from this vantage point.  My efforts were lacking and I really want to share his gift to me with you.  Behind us from this viewing point is the hillside terrace of the Narukawa Art Museum which is known for exhibiting nihonga (traditional Japanese paintings) by contemporary artists.  There are also some beautiful, exquisite carvings in ivory and jade as well as other traditional arts and crafts.  

 I purchased several postcards of my favorites.  These give a better idea of the paintings even though they can't compare to the real thing.

Yasushi Sugiyama

Sabato Fukui

Rumiko Hori (detail)

Fumiko Hori (detail)

Kyujin Yamamoto

Kazuyuki Futagawa (detail)

A little about nihonga:  Modern nihonga is a general term for traditional Japanese painting.  The difference between Western style oil painting and nihonga is (at the risk of oversimplifying) the difference in materials used.  The Narakawa Art Museum has a display of all the minerals used in creating the paints.  The exhibits are a cross-section of the best contemporary painters using traditional materials.  In general, the support is paper, silk, wood or plaster.  Other materials can be sumi ink, mineral pigments, white gofun (a white pigment made from pulverized seashells), animal or vegetable coloring materials, gold leaf and other metals.  The materials are not easy to use and require much time and patience to master.  So much that is important to the Japanese in their arts and crafts are based on materials derived directly from nature. Here is a link to the Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo which provides more information on nihonga and an upcoming exhibit that highlights other contemporary nihonga artists.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Still processing Japan.  A travel companion sent me the above photo of me on a rainy night in Kanazawa.  After dinner that night a few of us joined our Japanese guide for a stroll in an old section of town where we could see some original houses from the Samurai period.  There was little traffic and hardly any people giving us the feeling of walking back in time.  I never take for granted the opportunities I have to visit foreign places

I've gathered a few photos of another Japanese highlight.  This one in Hakone and known as the Open Air Sculpture Museum or the Picasso Open Air Sculpture Museum.  It opened in 1969 with the goal of making sculpture as an art form more popular.  Approximately 120 sculptures by various artists are on permanent display.  The Picasso Pavilion houses a large collections of Picasso's ceramic works which he began work on at the age of 65.  He was always making things and experimenting with new materials, designs and methods.  These definitely represent a playful period.  The front of the Pavilion has several stained glass windows composed mostly  in hues of blue with hints of complimentary colors.  Overall they create a cool and calming retreat on a sunny day. I was particularly drawn to the drawings and several large paintings on glass.   Everything on exhibit was totally new to me and I would have studied everything more closely if time had permitted.  The outdoor sculptures were calling.  These sculptures are represented by several artists and set in a hillside strolling garden with serpentine paths that provide beautiful and surprising views of the art as well as the mountainous landscapes of Hakone.  Here are a few examples.

The stairs in this last photo take one to another exhibition area.  Exit through the gift shop, and that was a treat too.  Hope to do another post on Japan this month.  Bye for now!