Thursday, December 24, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 10

"Winter Twilight"

Day 10 of Walking in the Winter Wonderland is finally here!

And we have yet to see even a tiny snowflake here in Central New York. But we know it's coming soon. So for now we'll sit outside on the deck and if we listen very closely we might hear the angels sing.

This painting was done a few years ago. The scene is from camp, looking over the lake from Dave and Cindy's place. We were returning from a winter hike. We had a heavy snow cover, the sun was setting and everything was so still. I immediately thought of the words to "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear". This image was our family holiday card a few years ago.

A happy, peaceful, blessed Christmas Eve to all!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 9

"Winter Sky"

It's Day 9 in my series of Walking in the Winter Wonderland: snowscapes and winter related paintings, for those people who can't get into the Christmas spirit unless the ground is covered in snow.

As we near the end of our 10 days there is nary a drop of snow in the area. In fact it looks more like November here. So instead of looking for snow let's look at a winter sky today.

"Winter Sky" is actually a banner painted on silk. I started with a random tie dye in two shades of blue, a purple and a pink-y magenta. After I completed the tie dye and it was dry I added the dried (dead) vegetation in purple and blue using a more solid layer of color over the the background tie dye. 

But before I panted the vegetation I had to do some prep work.

I had sketched the vegetation on a really large piece of paper, covering each pencil line with a black Sharpie pen. The I laid the sketch on the floor and placed the silk over it. Since the silk is transparent I was able to see my Sharpie darkened lines underneath. I then traced over those lines with Gutta masking fluid. When the Gutta dried I painted in the vegetation and the Gutta kept the silk dye from bleeding into the tie-dyed background.

When I had finished with the piece I sewed a rod pocket at the top for hanging the piece. I have recently added some sculptural elements to this piece: leaves made with sculpted polymer clay hanging from decorative yarns at either end of the banner giving it a more finished look. 

Painting on silk is very much like painting with watercolor. You can work wet-on-wet, letting your colors run, creating glorious combinations (if you know your color wheel). You can also work in a more controlled manner when you need to. I've only recently begun to really explore this medium but I do plan on painting more of these banners and combining sculptural elements for added texture.

Tomorrow is Day 10! But there might be a bonus day for Christmas! Stayed tuned.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 8

"Leave Only Footprints"

It's Day 8 of 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland and we still don't have any snow here in Central New York!

The inspiration for today's painting comes from the trail around the lakes in Green Lakes State Park. As you can see I wasn't the first hiker on the trail that day; there is a well worn path through the snow. 

Once again I have chosen to paint the time of winter day that I find most interesting, late afternoon as the shadows deepen.

"Leave Only Footprints" was painted for the "Snowy Splendor 2014", Onondaga Historical Association's tribute to winter in Onondaga County. The painting was reproduced in the Syracuse Post Standard Stars Magazine and received a favorable review from Art Critic Katherine Rushworth.

"Along the Towpath", the watercolor pictured below was also in Snowy Splendor that year. I don't know about you but my cross country skis are feeling really neglected this winter!  

And tomorrow we'll look at the Winter Sky. See you then!

Monday, December 21, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 7

"Grass Lake DPW"

It's Day 7 of 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland. 

Yesterday we were in the woods and we still haven't gotten out of the woods yet! Grass Lake DPW was inspired by an old jeep sitting in the woods at camp. The jeep was just up the hill on an neighbor's property. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, it never seemed to move and then one day to was gone. But not before I had a chance to paint it!

I really liked the way the jeep looked half buried in the snow. During the rest of the year it looked broken down and scary, and I'm pretty sure I saw a jeep just like it in one of those "Jason slasher" movies, but in the winter it just looked like it was taking a nap. The snow hides a host of evils!

Like many of my winter paintings I am trying to find the color in the snow. It's late in the day in this picture, the woods are turning shades of purple and blue and the snow in the foreground is mainly in shadow.

Although I had this painting in a few exhibits I never thought it would appeal to many people -unless they happened to have an old jeep in their woods! 

Of all of my paintings this was my brother's favorite. During the last year of his life he was nearly house-bound and spent much of his time on the computer. He frequently shared images from my website with his healthcare workers and with friends who stopped to visit. Two friends in particular who are husband and wife were a huge help to him and as luck would have it they actually have an old jeep in their woods. And they loved the painting. So two years ago today I surprised them with the painting. I think "Grass Lake DPW" has found a good home.

Tomorrow we head to Green Lakes. See you then!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 6

"Winter Morning"

It's Day 6 of 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland!

The 10 Days of snowscapes and other winter-related themes are dedicated to the folks who can't get into the Christmas spirit without a covering of snow on the ground.

Today we are in the woods, specifically in my backyard at camp. I woke up one morning to find the sunlight streaming through the trees and all sorts of gorgeous colors sparkling on the new fallen snow. I took a few reference photos and did a few sketches and a few days later began the painting.

I love finding the color in the winter; the long purple and blue shadows on the snow and bits of yellows and pinks sparkling in the sunlight. Unfortunately here in Central New York we seldom see the bright side of winter. We hardly ever get to ski with the sun on our backs. Instead we have low hanging gray clouds or no clouds at all just a dull sky and dead white snow. If we do see the sun, it is usually accompanied by frigid temperatures. And yes, this painting was inspired by one of those cold frigid North Country days.

This is one of my favorite winter paintings and it recently sold which makes me happy that someone else likes it enough to buy it.

A couple of years ago I posted a lesson to my painting students at the Y Arts Studio who had seen me begin this painting but did not get to see the finished piece as I was putting it in the Art of Winter Show at the Thousand Islands Arts Center. You can read more about the technical aspects of the piece at the  link below.

Related Link:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 5

"Golden Moment"

It's Day 5 of Walking in the Winter Wonderland: 10 Days of snowscapes and winter related paintings.

Today we are hitting the slopes with Lindsey Vonn, who is in the news again after finishing second in a World Cup super-combined race in Val D'Isere, France.

This is a pastel painting  based on a photo of Lindsey after her Olympic triumph in 2010. I was preparing to teach a pastel class at the Y Arts Studio, and hadn't worked in pastel in a while, so this was my refresher piece. 

You can read more about it by clicking on the related post.

Related Posts:

Tomorrow we head for the woods. See you there!

Friday, December 18, 2015

10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 4


It's Day 4 of 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland!

So for those of you who can't get into the Christmas spirit without a covering of snow on the ground I am presenting 10 days of snowscapes. And as promised here are the Cardinals. 

I'll bet you were expecting this painting:

I have painted a few Cardinal paintings. I love the contrast of their bright red plumage against the heavy winter sky. Even the female with her brown coloring still has quite a bit of orange and red popping through, making these birds easy to spot as they perch in the trees. Last year I painted the grouping of Cardinals for the Art of Winter Show at the Thousand Islands Arts Center. The painting won a Staff Pick Award and sold before the end of the show.

"Twosome" was painted for Associated Artists Holiday Show "Off the Wall", which gives customers the opportunity to purchase a painting and take it home that day instead of waiting till the end of the show. "Twosome" sold during the first week of the show so I guess I am not the only person who like cardinals.

Both paintings were done in watercolor, using crinkled plastic wrap on the wet surface to create a texture. When the plastic wrap is removed it leaves behind a random textured pattern of lines and creases which can be used as is, or enhanced with more pigment to create a sense of depth. The sky in  "Twosome" has touches of yellow to add warmth and the feeling of a bit of sunlight peeking through the clouds. The sky in "Cardinals" is definitely a winter sky; much colder although there is a very small bit of yellow and alizarin crimson to warm it up here and there for contrast.

You can read more about this technique by clicking on the link to a related post below.

Related Posts:

Tomorrow: We're going skiing! (in our painting) I'll meet you at the chair lift!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Joan Applebaum Art: 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 3

"On the Eagle Marsh Trail"

It's Day 3 of Walking in the Winter Wonderland!

So for all of you who can't get into the Christmas spirit unless the ground is covered in snow, Windy Hill Studio takes you "On the Eagle Marsh Trail". 

A few years ago my husband and I took a winter hike with the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in the area near Butterfield Lake and Lake of the Woods. It was a mild day with just enough snow to make the scenery interesting. Since the snow covering was sparse we were able to view moss and other hearty vegetation along the way. (The following year we hiked with the Conservancy in freezing cold weather and continuous snowfall which was a much different experience!)

The trail went through the woods, around some interesting rock formations and eventually led us to a spot where if you looked very closely you could spot an eagle's nest. 

After hiking back to the beginning of the trail we were treated to hot chocolate and s'mores as we gathered around the campfire.

Painting the Eagle Marsh Trail

One of the things I liked best about working on this painting is the opportunity to add other colors to the winter landscape. The warm colors of the green moss and red-brown dirt provide a nice contrast to the cool winter colors in the snow and in the background. The colors of the trees in the foreground were made by using all of the other colors in the painting in various amounts; sometimes mixing, sometimes using straight from the tube, creating a series of lively neutrals instead of pure brown or gray. 

The trees and sky in the background are painted in cool blues and purples which recede and create a sense of distance. 

What's in store for Day 4?  It's time for a touch of brilliant color so tomorrow I'll feature the Cardinals! 

I have 3 different cardinal paintings, so I'll keep you guessing as to which one will be spotlighted as we continue Walking in the Winter Wonderland.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Joan Applebaum Art: 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland, Day 2


It's Day Two of 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland! And still no snow in sight around here.

Today's painting "Wintering"comes from camp, and it's the second time I have used it in a blog post. 

While on a winter hike around the lake we came upon this camp nestled in the trees. The sunlight pouring through the trees and casting long purple and blue shadows convinced me that the scene needed to be painted. And I loved the pattern of snow on the dock and the big blue barrels holding it up! I took a few photo references and began the painting a few days later. 

While working on the painting I was fairly faithful to the color of the camp--mint green, but later changed the color to a red brown. The mint green was throwing off the color harmony and the composition by drawing your eyes directly to the camp instead of the foreground which I felt was much more interesting. I did leave a bit of the mint green color which glows through the red/brown here and there if you look closely at the painting.

Tomorrow we head to the Eagle Marsh Trail. See you then!

If you missed Day 1 you can click on the link below

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Joan Applebaum Art Presents: 10 Days of Walking in the Winter Wonderland


Where's the Snow?

We're having a warm December here in Upstate New York, so for those of you who just can't get into the Christmas spirit unless the ground is covered with snow, I am presenting 10 days of winter landscapes. Or should I say Snowscapes?

Our first painting is titled "Winter". Yep. Real original. But the painting itself is an experimental watercolor.

I used salt create the starburst effect and cool colors to give a brittle winter-y look to the painting. The white-ness of the branches was enhanced with opaque white paint.

This painting reminds me of walking along the camp road on winter days so cold that the snow squeaks under foot. You can almost hear the branches creaking as they sway in the icy wind.

Come on back tomorrow for another Snowscape!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tis The Season for Everything Happening at Once!

It's December and Tis the Season for everything happening at once. 

I have back to back events this weekend starting with the Holiday Gift Fair at Nature-Tyme in Syracuse on Friday from noon to 7:00 pm, where I'll have an assortment of prints, cards, Woodlands and Waterways calendars, art-to-wear and Cardinal mugs. The mugs come with a surprise inside---ok it's chocolate and I just might eat it all to keep my energy up enough for my next event!

Which Is:

My show at Auburn Unitarian /Universalist Society!
I'll be hanging the show on Saturday; opening reception on Sunday after the service from 12:00 - 1:00 
Auburn UU is located at 607 Seward Ave. in Auburn NY.

And here is the artist statement and a preview of the show:


If you are a painter, painting the seasons just seems like a natural thing to do in Upstate New York. Living here we are greeted with an ever-changing palette of colors as the seasons shift.

The year begins with wispy whites shimmering in the pale winter sun. Spring brings us delicate green tendrils curling up from the ground. At last!

Summer is glorious and filled with color. Flowers, fruits, blue skies and sunny days! Ah, we wish that it could last forever! Fall is glorious too as trees show off their “Sunday best”, their color rivaled only by the brilliant orange pumpkins.

And then the sky grows heavy and leaden, and the bare silhouettes of trees settle in for their long winter nap.

And the cycle begins again.

I hope to see you at once of these events this weekend!