This blog is dedicated to the memory of my life partner of nearly thirty years, Dr. Howard G. Hanson-- artist, writer, musician, and teacher-- who with me celebrated a belief that we can achieve whatever we allow ourselves to imagine. This blog reflects the whole person that our lives together enabled.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fourth Wren Study

"Fourth Wren Study"   7" x 10"  Watercolor
Most likely, this is the last of the wren studies, at least for now.  The little painting's colors are a bit richer than I was able to capture in the photo, but I hope this is close enough.
      I mentioned in an earlier post that after I began these studies, the wren stopped coming to the feeder, almost as a tease to dare me to capture his (or maybe it is her) image.  Later, I discovered the little rascal poking around the front porch.
     Either a mama phoebe who's nesting in the rafters of my carport or a hummer frequenting my feeder will be next.  Both are keeping me busy trying to capture videos of them, neither having yet given me enough footage to begin their studies, but I will win this one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Third Wren Study

"Third Wren Study"    7" x 10"   Watercolor on Paper
$125 
Here is my third study of the Carolina Wren I spotted at my bird feeder.  Scan down to the previous two posts to see the other two.
     One of the joys of spring unfolding is the busy activity of our feathered friends building their nests, laying their eggs and keeping vigilant watch of their future progeny.   A bird feeder usually guarantees that its visitors will choose a nearby area for their nest and continue to show up, but once I began the studies the wren disappeared.   Until then, he was a regular visitor.
     One thing I have learned from these studies:  it is better to video them rather than take still shots.  By doing so, I am able to watch the video repeatedly enabling me to register their gestures and expressions, so important to how I interpret them.  And, too, in the case the subject goes away, I have a more complete record of whatever it was that drew me to it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Second Wren Study

"Carolina Wren, Study II"    10" x 7"   Watercolor on Paper
AUCTION:  BID NOW
This is the second of the watercolor series of studies I am doing from a video I made of a Carolina Wren at my bird feeder.  The first study was done before the greens filled out in my woods.  This study shows the wren in an environment of spring greens.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Carolina Wren: Beginning of a Series

"On Alert"     7" x 10"    Watercolor on Paper
$125 plus S/H
PURCHASE NOW
This is the first in a series of studies I'm doing of a Carolina Wren who has been visiting my bird feeder.  I was able to shoot a video of this little guy, then capture a number of still frames of his movements.  From these stills I have been doing a number of gesture studies.





What I'm trying to accomplish here is an immediacy with this little bird.  I have spent my career focused on the creative process, with my most recent focus being on the way we artists compose our work.  Now, I'm giving my attention to pure immediacy:  what happens when I respond to my subject without thought, with the only goal being to tune in to how I am responding.  Nothing more.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Double Dare

"Double Dare"
  11" x 8"  Watercolor on Paper
One of the entertainments of early spring is watching male cardinals duke it out.  So when I was asked if I'd be willing to do a cardinal commission in watercolor, it was that territorial dance that first entered my mind as I studied their activity in my yard.

I sat up my camera aimed out my kitchen window and put it in movie mode so that when the cardinals appeared at the bird feeder, I could film their gestures and expressions.  It is from these video clips that I compiled this little painting set in my woods where Spring has not yet produced a single leaf bud.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dancing Light

"Dancing Light"  13" x 21"    Pastel on paper
$300
I finished this painting a couple of weeks before Christmas.  It is the fourth in my series of paintings from a canoe trip on the Tugalo River in the fall.

The images from that trip remain as fresh today as the day I experienced them.  During this moment, the surface of the water displayed its own painting, changing moment by moment with the movement of the water's ripples and the subsiding light of a sun setting.  Our boat was skirting along the surface of all this, adding its own note to the pulsating motion, becoming a part of a both fleeting and emerging, a dance of light on the water's surface.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just Before Sundown

"Just Before Sundown"   15 x 21  Pastels on Paper   $400
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To enlarge, click on image
This is the third painting in my series from a recent canoe trip on the Tugalo River.  Heading down river about an hour before sundown, the light was golden, illuminating centuries-old earth striations and exposed roots from several decades ago when trees were cleared to accompany the construction of Lake Hartwell.

These images stick with me today as fresh as when I was experiencing them.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Once A King

"Once A King"  15" x 18"   Pastels on Paper
SOLD
Click on image for larger version

Until two weeks ago I strongly disliked painting with pastels.  Over the years I have taught its techniques to my students, but have not given it the time of day as a medium I could relate to.  I have complained about how I dislike the way my fingers feel when touching it even though I enjoy looking at a well crafted pastels painting, I've made a declaration "not for me."   Well.  That all changed and without any warning.

Not long ago, I was taken on a delightful canoe trip up the Tugalo River.  Lake Hartwell into which the Tugalo flows and from which it takes most of its waters had been drawn down since spring to several feet below the rivers' banks, leaving a desert of  lake bed and consequent desertion of boaters and their lake folk, but the river remains a haven for canoe lovers.  As we rowed up the river, bare bones of old stumps raising their heads to light, cast breathtaking reflections on the waters.   These images along with the old piers of a once covered bridge caught my attention.

I assumed watercolor was the ideal medium for communicating my impressions, but watercolor wouldn't work.  It was as if the images were demanding I reach inside myself for something else.  Oil wouldn't work either, so reluctantly, I dug out the pastels and the images began to flow into place, surprising me and all those who know me and the disdain I've spouted forth about the medium all these years.

"Once A King" is the second painting in this series.  And I am a reborn painter, now adding pastels to the painting mediums I love.  Imagine that.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Majesty

"Majesty"    "12 x "14"   Pastels on Paper"
SOLD
The subject for this little painting sits in the Tugalo River, once one of a triumvirate of piers holding a covered bridge whose history reaches back into the mid 1800's.  The stones were cut from a quarry nearby.  But this painting is not so much about the bridge or even this single pier as it is about the stalwarts we humans abandon, especially in this new world of modernization.  It is easier to ditch an old thing than to shore it up and keep it going.  We place more value on the market than we do on the seeds that provided the produce.