The Colors of Winter

Winter is an exciting time for painting.  Yes, summer is full of bright colors, lush greens, and dramatic florals.  But winter offers some unique color situations as well.  In winter, the colors are cooler and the air seems thinner.  More importantly, when the snow falls everything is reflective.  The white snow and shimmery ice pick up all of the colors of the sky.  White snow is never really white as the surounding landscape bounces off of it.  These subtle reflections allow for so many possibilities beyond the standard earth and sky relationship.  I am fascinated and inspired by the season in exploring the colors of winter.


Image: Winter Colors, oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″


I have not abandoned the pond project yet- however boredom has motivated me to seek ways of keeping it interesting.  Yes, I have been using more brushwork.  I still begin with a knife for a loose beginning to each painting.  I block in areas of color quickly.  Then, with a small round brush I maneuver the paint on the surface.  The most important application for the brush is capturing the branches.  I am also able to create more detail and subtlety through this hybrid mark making system.  These two paintings were done using the same limited palette of cadmium orange, ultramarine blue, and titanium white.  These images are taken from photograph- two pictures shot just days apart.

The Artist Life

I have not written anything recently, well nothing I have shared anyway.  It has been a busy couple of weeks.  I have some classes running, a new commission project, and two shows coming up.  Also, the Pond Project continues on, though I am a bit behind.  I have been self employed for 2.5 months and things are going more smoothly than I expected.  I enjoy the new challenges a full time artist life presents.

Last week was Milwaukee’s Gallery Night and Day. I held an Open Studio for Gallery night.  A snow storm is to blame for a slower evening, but still not too bad.  I appreciate those who made it out, and for those that could not I totally understand.  It was ugly out!  On Gallery Day I took some time to hop around downtown.  I was able to check out the Marshall Building, Tory Folliard Gallery, and the DeLind Gallery (I have two pieces on display at the DeLind Gallery right now for Winter, a group show).  During my gallery hopping I was really drawn to Jeff Darrow’s small oil paintings, on display at the Elaine Erickson Gallery.  There was lots of good stuff to see throughout the city.  I wish I could have made it to more shows.


Photo Credit: Anthony Sell