Tuesday, September 29, 2020

20 First Dates: Asheville Embers


Asheville Embers, 10 x 14 inch oil on panel

This addition to my ongoing series of "20 First Dates" features a cityscape from one of my favorite southeastern cities, Asheville, North Carolina. Here, a quiet side street packs a lot of punch in downtown following a beautiful winter afternoon. 

As someone who grew up with long Wisconsin winters that featured short days and dramatically crisp colors on many evenings, I have always loved the clarity of winter light. It has a personality all its own with fiery hues and I can recognize it instantly. 

I caught the inspiration for Asheville Embers during a December evening. Thanks to its mountain elevation, Asheville can get a fair bit of snowfall, but - unlike my home state - it doesn't usually stick for very long. This is the magic of the mountains in the southeast: You get four seasons, but you don't get any of them for too long. 

Framed view of Asheville Embers in a satin black frame with interior gold bevel.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

20 First Dates: Skate!

Skate! 16 x 16 inch oil on canvas

The latest addition to my 20 First Dates features a renegade personality that I caught along 8th Avenue in New York City. I loved the way the dynamic lights and colors framed him as he just about rolls out of our view. But for just this fleeting moment, he is situated among the energy of the city, and I had a lot of fun creating this painting. 

Details of "Skate!"

"Skate!" in a satin black canvas floater frame.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

20 First Dates: Awaiting Takeoff


Awaiting Takeoff painting
 Awaiting Takeoff, 12 x 24 oil on panel

A summertime connection through an airport brought this magical moment to me. I was traveling to a family reunion in Wisconsin (go Badgers, go Packers), and as our plane approached Michigan a line of thunderstorms roared through. After we landed and waited for our next flight, this was the westward view as the remnants of the billowing storm clouds dissolved into this amazing sunset.

Although I am a nervous flier, as we roll into month 7-ish of this pandemic, even I am growing restless and wishing that I could wander to a new destination. I'm still holding out for the ability to teleport, like they do on Star Trek, but until that time, I may have to steel myself to get back on a plane when conditions permit. 

I'm hopeful that our ability to travel more widely will return in the near future. Until then, I thought I'd share this magical moment from the Detroit Metro Airport. Who knew there can be such beauty at an airport?

Detail of Awaiting Takeoff

Detail of Awaiting, Takeoff


 Framed view of Awaiting, Takeoff

12 x 24 oil on panel 

Framed in a black canvas floater




Saturday, September 12, 2020

20 First Dates: Study, Stream Crossing


Study, Stream Crossing

16 x 20 inch oil on panel

The fourth painting in my series of 20 First Dates features a summertime woodland subject from the Pine Ridge Falls hiking trail in northeast Tennessee. I don't know about you, but when I get stressed out the best remedy is the great outdoors (and a pint of chocolate ice cream). As we've all dealt with new challenges this year, the ability to get outside and hike has never been more important for me. I discovered this gorgeous moment during a mild June afternoon.

When I first began my career as an artist, I was intimidated by the prospect of painting water, whether it was in my landscapes or my cityscapes. It just seemed like it would be difficult. But after years of practice and various subjects, what I've discovered is that I love the myriad colors and movement within water. It takes on an abstract quality for me, as you can see in the detail view shown here. I enjoy playing with its form and energy and it's why I'll often feature it within interior woodland subjects like this.


Detail view of painting

16 x 20 inch oil on panel
Framed view of painting
Framed view of Study, Stream Crossing


Saturday, September 05, 2020

20 First Dates: Together is a Beautiful Place to Be

Together is a Beautiful Place to Be

Together is a Beautiful Place to Be, 24 x 24 inch oil on canvas

I love walking the High Line Park in Lower Manhattan because it offers me a "non ant's eye view" of the world. I caught this woman during a crisp, clear winter morning. The clarity of light, the long angle of the shadows, and the different perspective intrigued me. I really enjoyed playing with the subtle colors and abstract patterns throughout this subject. The title for this painting comes from a beautiful song of the same name by jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Her music recently caught my ear while working in my studio, where I've been consuming a lot of new music lately in my quest to just unplug and hunker down.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

20 First Dates: Elevate, your first date

Meet the first painting in my new series, 20 First Dates, Elevate, a 12 x 24 inch oil on panel. 

 Elevate, 12 x 24 oil on panel

This display of peak fall foliage from the Great Smoky Mountains kicks off my special series of paintings, 20 First Dates. To get just the right angle and light, I tromped well off of the hiking trail during one of my Southern Appalachian Naturalist classes at the Tremont Institute while we were tracking animals (in other words, looking for animal poop. For what it's worth, we did come across evidence of bears).

Meandering off of any hiking trail is generally a no-no, particularly because there are wild boars in the Smokies. But the class actually encouraged us to just go off and explore. I never would have had the chutzpah to wander into the woods and get this moment without the blessing of the class. As you can see, it was totally worth it.