Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Redwood Path

Here's my latest painting, inspired by the article about redwood trees in the October 2009 issue of the National Geographic. While I've never been to the redwood forests, I'd like to go there someday and walk in the shadows of the huge, ancient trees that stretch to the sky. The path in this painting wanders amid the giants, leading one through a silent forest that has stood for thousands of years.

Acrylic painting, 14" x 17"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowy Field with Trees

Here's a tribute to the first snowfall of the year! An inch of slushy snow is still enough to inspire one to paint a wintery field in the gleaming light of a cold day.

The trees were particularly tricky to paint, since they were bare of leaves (or almost bare since some trees, like oaks, hold on to some browned leaves until deep into winter.) That, and the subdued colors made for a challenging painting, but I think it turned out pretty well.

Acrylic ainting: 14" x 17"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Field of Sycamores in Autumn

This painting was inspired by the monthly challenge in the Landscape forum of the Wetcanvas artist's website. One of the photos has an open field with dry grass with some hills and trees on the right and a smaller, closer tree on the left. I tweaked it a bit, making the trees more distinctive; the larger trees on the left are sycamores (with their distinctive bright and mottled bark), while the distant trees have a mix of red and yellow to draw the eye into the painting.

Acrylic painting 14" x 17"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Forest Path in Autumn

Here's another autumn scene: a quiet path through the woods as the leaves change colors in the crisp fall air. When painting this, I thought of the red-orange trees as some species of oak, while the yellow ones are hickories, though most any trees of the right autumn colors would work. This is a timely painting since the autumn colors are peaking about now as they do most years from the end of October into early November. The color is quite good this year, though the rainy weekends have cut down on how often I can get out into the woods. Thankfully, this past Sunday was beautiful and perfect for a walk down a path like this one.

"Forest Path in Autumn"

Acrylic painting, 14" x 17"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn Barn by the Road

Here's my latest painting, based upon one of the photographs for the October Landscape Challenge at the WetCanvas Landscape forum. The original barn is somewhere in Upstate New York, I believe, which is a beautiful part of the country.

The key to this painting was the multiple layers of color glazed over each other to create variegated autumn foliage on the trees and even in the grass. Distance regression - where the far away trees and barn have lower contrast and fewer details - was also important since there's a lot of open space in this painting between the background woods and the foreground trees.

I had another pleasant surprise while painting this one, as my brother and sister-in- law visited me on their way back from a wedding in Virginia. The painting still needed the last highlights and shadows added in when they arrived, but they liked it anyway, and even took a few of my other paintings back home with them. Publicity is good, and what's the point in painting if you can't share the results with others! Thank heavens for the internet since that makes it a lot easier.

"Autumn Barn by the Road"

Acrylic Painting 14" x 17"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ahwahnee Meadow, sunrise

A few years back, while wandering around the internet, I happened to find an amazing webcam in Yosemite National Park. This webcam looks out across Ahwahnee Meadow, towards the mountains and typically provides a clear view of a beautiful region of the park.
One morning, I was fortune enough to visit the webcam during a golden sunrise, with clouds rolling down and through the shadowed mountains and mist in the field. I knew I had to paint this image at some point, and here it is. The foreground trees - large, old conifers of some sort - were added in to give a sense of scale to the meadow through use of an interesting foreground. They also let me get in some dark values to balance out the glowing sky. Enjoy!

"Ahwahnee Meadow at Sunrise"

Acrylic painting, 14" x 17"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Storm over a Mountain Lake

Here's another summer scene - storm clouds pass between distant mountains while sunlight falls on old conifers by a large lake. The weather in the mountains can be violent and unpredictable, but also beautiful.

Painting mountains is still a challenge, as are exposed rocks. It may be a case of "paint what you know" in that there are no mountains or exposed cliff faces here in Maryland, so I only have photos to use as a reference. Still, I think this one turned out pretty well.

"Storm Over a Mountain Lake"

Acrylic painting 14" x 17"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

After the summer rain...

Here's my latest landscape painting - it's a view across the far-away plains near a grove of trees. In the distance, storm clouds can be seen, and they've already passed overheard, leaving behind puddles in the marshy area beneath the hillside.

This painting had a few new experiments: the raised foreground hill and low horizon make the sky the key aspect of the painting. It also has a lot of "nothing" in it that goes all the way to the horizon; this can be challenging to paint since the regression must be done correctly (colors and details fade away, etc.) Also, this is the first time I've tried rain puddles - I think they turned out well. The key thing is to make sure the puddles (which can be treated like small lakes) are in a muddy-looking part of the ground. Otherwise, they look strange sitting in the middle of green grass.

"After the Summer Rain"

Acrylic painting, 14" x 17"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Downs Memorial Park by the Bay

One of my favorite local parks to visit is Downs Memorial Park, which lies on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. This park has over 200 acres of forests and trails, as well as a large shore along the Bay with grassy areas and benches available so one can spend an afternoon looking out across the Bay, watching ships pass by in the distance.

Autumn is one of the best times to visit this park since it is full of trees that change interesting colors: chestnut oaks turn bronze, sweetgums change from orange to wine or rust red, and hickories turn golden hues. A good number of trees grow right down by the water on small raised embankments. From these areas, one can stand in the shade and look out across the water, as seen in this painting looking southward from the water's edge under a group of trees. In the distance, you can make out the far shore of the Bay across the waters.

"Downs Park in Fall by the Bay"

Acrylic painting, 14" x 17"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer in the Park

Here's a new painting based upon a reference photo for the monthly Landscape Challenge on the Wetcanvas forums. The photo reminded me a lot of a local farm park that has a lot of open, prairie regions with some woods mixed in along its edges. If you walk the paved perimeter trail, you'll see lots of cleared meadows between the trees - in some places, if you take a photo at the right angle, you can get an effect like that of the Great Plains.

This painting was an experiment in dappled light filtering through the edge of the woods. The mix of shadows and scattered highlights, particularly along the grass and road, add an almost Impressionist quality to the painting. I added the flowers on the right and in the grass beyond (the white tufts are Queen Ann's Lace) since it summer, and what is summer without wildflowers?

Acrylic Painting 14" x 17"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

An Autumn Glade for the Autumn Glade

Well, I named this blog "The Autumn Glade" since I love the woods, particularly in autumn. Then, I realized I didn't actually have any really good paintings of a clearing in a forest in autumn! That lead to my latest painting, which is of an open area in an mostly oak forest near a hilltop somewhere in the mountains (probably the Smoky Mountains or Blueridge Mountains.)

It was an interesting challenge to add enough color to the autumn leaves without making them look fake and over saturated. I particularly like how well the depth regression turned out in this painting - there are multiple "layers" in the painting of landscape features, each further away from the viewer. The hole in the treeline leading to the far-away clouds and mountains worked out well; the clouds are on the colorful side, but I find that I like to paint them with stronger colors to add more depth and interest to them vs. "chalky white clouds."
Acrylic Painting 14" x 17"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Return from Istanbul!

The last week of May, my family and I visited Istanbul, Turkey for a wonderful vacation amid a city full of history and culture. My brother-in-law is from this city, and he and my sister were kind enough to take care of the details for the trip. Amid the excellent food and amazing sights, I also was able to get some photographs that would make great ideas for paintings.

This painting is based upon a sunset over the Bosphorus that we saw from the Asian side (Kadikoy region) early in the week. We went on a relaxing ferry tour of the Bosphorus before getting off on the Asian side of Istanbul to get dinner at a restaurant that serves a variety of authentic Turkish food (more than just kabobs!) While there, we picked up some Turkish Delight candy for our friends and family back in America, and then, as the sun set, we headed back to the water to catch a ferry back.

In this painting, I captured the last glow of light as the sun set behind the Hagia Sofia on the other side of the Bosphorus straight. Another ferry boat, its lights on for the evening, quietly passes by in the growing shadows.

"Istanbul: Sunset on the Bosphorus" Acrylic Painting, 14" x 17"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Post

My most recent landscape painting that was inspired by the works of Asher Durand, a member of the Hudson River School of landscape artists. I got to see a few of his works for the first time at the National Art Museum in D.C. in April. He was a master of painting forest interiors with accurate trees, which gave me incentive to improve my own tree-painting ability in my landscapes.

Acrylic Painting 14" x 17"