Sunday, December 8, 2013

First of the New Series

The new series is well on its way, with manic excitement in the in initial sketches, great under paintings that really gave me a great overall idea of what the series would say and than the long and labored creative block and suddenly I can see the ideas clearly again.

So here is the first of the series, it is an image of a shrike, also called the butcher bird because their habits with their prey, they tend to hang grasshoppers and mice on thorns and barbed wire. I had originally planned on adding the prey but felt it might detract. The concept here is the beauty and warmth of an open field at the height of summer sunflowers and hidden along the hedgerow the shrike surveys its territory.

This image is the first time I had ever used oil sticks, as I wanted a rich somewhat abstract feeling of the weeds and sunflowers, the background was left open and barren. I hope there is a bit of strength in the power of a predatory bird and a bit of sadness in the distance with the impending storm. This scene is something I see pretty much every day-the shrike came to me as a harbinger of something perhaps violent, I aimed for simplicity and left only the detail for the birds and bit of the sunflowers.

My colors have changed in recent, especially in
some of the water scenes, more greens in the emerald hue inspired by a visit to the Florida coast.  This painting of the shrike quickly clarified my direction with the contrast, limited color palette and the somber grey bird with a violent reputation as a small but effective predator. I am eager to paint more birds, wildlife and probably people, I want the landscape to stand on its own to create the atmosphere but the wildlife and the people will bring a voice or personality to the empty landscape.

My first love is nature, something that has been a major influence as long as I can remember. I love the hedgerow, I love the silence of being in the middle of a field during the most dramatic seasons of fall, winter and spring, a time that I seem to paint the most, maybe because its cooler than but more importantly the atmosphere of the landscape is more distinct and says more in its reference to death in autumn, the deep thought of loss and redemption of winter and the chance for the renewal in spring. I want my colors to be true and my shapes to almost allow an abstract feel mingled with realism.

My next paintings is of a cat at the window with the moon and trumpet flowers on the fence outside-I concentrated on the blues and oranges of the night garden contrasting with the shadows of the cat as it stares out of the dark corner of a window scene. I am very excited to see this series progress and am also happy to include more pastels which were a bit absent in the last series. I hope you will enjoy the series.


  1. what a beautiful painting!!
    greetings Sietske

    1. Thank you Sietske, very much appreciate your comment.
      Have a wonderful day