Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Beginnings and an "Attitude of Gratitude"

"After the Rain"

Happy New Year!

I always like to think of the new year as a chance for new beginnings. Especially for Windy Hill Studio! And because it is a slower time of the year for me in terms of art shows and sales I have more time to experiment with new media and new subject matter and even to take some classes.

Last winter I took an on-line class in Art Marketing. One of the first things we were encouraged to do was to practice gratitude. To each day find a few things that we were grateful for and to integrate that practice into our creative lives. It is amazing what a difference gratitude can make as we balance our creative, business and family lives. 

In terms of Windy Hill Studio I had a great 2015, so I have much to be grateful for. But there is always room for improvement and new challenges, whether self imposed or of the "what ever life throws at you" variety.

New Challenges

So now that January is here it's time for those new challenges. One of the first will be branching out into different subject matter. I will still paint landscapes and waterways, always will, but I'm also intrigued by architecture and city life.

Since two of my three children live and work in the Washington DC area, I am a frequent visitor to our nation's capitol. And I'm inspired by the magnificent architecture and the vibrant city atmosphere.  My last two paintings, "After the Rain" and "Dining DC" both acrylics, portray two different aspects of life in DC.

"Dining DC"

"Dining DC" shows a colorful outdoor restaurant not too far away from the White House. I fell in love with the orange, yellow and blue umbrellas. This painting is all about color, light and shadow. The orange umbrella draws you into the painting and is complemented by the bright blue on the flag, the awning and the partly visible umbrella. Another complementary color combination red and green, is used throughout all of the vegetation. The neutral colors in the shadows were all made by mixing various combinations of the colors used throughout the painting.

"After the Rain" has a completely different feel. When I painted this I was interested in painting atmosphere as well as architecture. Although my reference photo was taken on a cold crisp January day with a brilliant blue sky, I wanted to paint wispy bits of cloud floating around and colorful reflections in the wet road. The architecture of the Capitol Building (my favorite DC building) is implied more than articulated. I used a combination of palette knives and brushes to apply the paint. My daughter Katie is in the foreground of the painting looking toward the Statue of Freedom.

And Now For Something Completely Different!

"In the Vineyard"

"A Little Tipsy"

I'm also working a "wine series" so look for some grapevines, wine bottles etc coming up in 2016!

And Last But Not Least 

I plan to work more with silk and silk dyes, and for subject matter I'm thinking Water Lilies! Yup, back to the lake!

Happy 2016 everyone! And thanks for reading my blog.

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