Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Pensive Palette: Your Eyes

“Beheld”, 9”x12” acrylic on board     

“All art is at once surface and symbol.” (Oscar Wilde)

Art offers itself as both decorative and meaningful. Sometimes the meaning is minimal or self-evident. At its best, art is layered and mysterious. It can be a powerful tool for us to see inside ourselves and learn about the world. Art is a personal endeavor because our interactions are based on what we bring to the process. Our experiences, knowledge, preferences, and hearts help us hear when art is speaking directly to us. It is the difference between “that’s pretty” and “I gotta have that!”. 

Inspiring Image: South African Police Station

 South African Police Station, 12" x 17", oil; 1891 Sir Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)

I quite like this quiet, understated painting of a South African police station from 1891 by Sir Frank Brangwyn. The field in particular is handled beautifully without being overly detailed.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

From Behind the Easel: Descending Shadows

“Descending Shadows”, 24”x18”” oil on board

As some of you may know, our family has recently decided to make some shifts in our perspective and attempt to follow our own path.  What that means is we sold our house, took the kids out of school, and started accepting what the world was offering us.  Our plan is loosely structured and we make our decisions together.  The kids are all homeschooling (or as I like to say “lifeschooling”) and we are finding truly wonderful learning experiences outside of the traditional model.  This is something we have contemplated for many years and have finally had the courage to attempt.  We feel blessed to be in a position to take hold of this opportunity.

Our most recent excursion was moving ourselves eastward for nearly three weeks to house/kitty-sit for dear friends who were away in Europe.  We had the fabulous chance to experience living in the Okanagan valley, affectionately known as Napa North for the many world-class wineries.  The valley is the northern tip of the Sonora Desert and is a richly bio-diverse environment.  We were treated to amazing views of clouds rolling into the valley below while mule deer and bighorn sheep grazed the property.  Needless to say the inspiration for painting was prevalent and I look forward to what will come from our stay there.

Here is a painting I did based on previous trips to the area.  You can see the beautiful rock outcrop as a backdrop to the understated beauty of the sagebrush, all backlit by the beautiful Okanagan light.  You can see another painting I did from the area in my post from May 17, 2014.