12Squared exhibit at Terakedis Fine Art

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12Squared exhibit at Terakedis Fine Art through January 15, 2019 

All artwork is 12″ x 12″, and the four pieces I am exhibiting are from my watercolor and wax “Natural Abstractions” series. Visit Terakedis Fine Art, 112 North Broadway in Billings MT (406-702-1026)

Behind the Scenes: “Meg’s Tree” under construction

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November 9, 2018  

Finished piece, framed.  Meg’s Tree, image size 10 x 33, watercolor on gold shikishi board   

 As one of 19 artists invited by the Jackson Hole Land Trust to interpret one of their conservation properties in Wyoming I have already been blogging about my periodic hikes on the property I was assigned, which is adjacent to and just north of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson. As the finish line gets closer now I am tucked away in my studio for some serious painting.  The title of this Land Trust project is “WyoView: Four Seasons” and I am taking that title to heart.  All of my four seasonal paintings will be of the view FROM this property. The views I am painting are of Flat Creek in the Elk Refuge, the Sleeping Indian to the northeast, a peak at the Tetons to the west, and Snow King and town to the south.  Each painting will include a glimpse of the actual conservation property with something special visible – brilliantly colored lichen rocks, a herd of mule deer with blooming branches visible, a copse of bright yellow aspens and a serene snow field. You will have to spend some time viewing each piece to find some of these “glimpses”.

Pictured here is a 10″ x 33″ watercolor triptych titled Meg’s Tree: portraying Flat Creek and Meg Raynes’ tree in the center panel. Beloved local naturalists and conservationists Meg and Bert Raynes were instrumental in saving this tree from death by elk browsing, and everyone in the valley recognizes this tree as they pass by.  

I have included photos of my step-by-step process as I created the piece. Several reference photos of the landscape (I know, a panoramic would have worked but I took these photos on several different occasions and used my artistic license to stitch them together.)

Painting all three panels both at once and then each panel receives individual attention:

Quick Draw was a success

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September 15, 2018  The weather was uncharacteristically fabulous, and I was pleased with my painting as well. (I thought it got away from me a few times but I “reeled” it back in.)  And it got a good price at the auction following the event as well. A good day.

The title is Song of the Sandhills, and is a depiction of sandhill cranes migrating. If you have never experienced a sandhill crane migration, you should put it on your bucket list.

BEST WYOMING ARTIST award

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VERY excited to share: After 11 days off-grid I read an email sent 10 days previously, from the Wyoming Watercolor Society that tells me my painting – The River Runs Through It – won the Best Wyoming Artist award in this years 33rd national exhibit!!! So honored and happy. It was inspired by the view from the top of East Gros Ventre Butte, having cocktails and dinner at the Granary Lounge, as a storm blew over the Tetons.

The River Runs Through It  16 x 24  watercolor on silver shikishi

 

WyoView: Four Seasons

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July 18, 2018  Once again I am honored to have been invited by the Jackson Hole Land Trust to paint one of their protected properties in western Wyoming for their project called WyoView: Four Seasons, which includes 21 artists and 18 properties. My assigned property is in Jackson Hole overlooking the Elk Refuge to the east and the Tetons, at the crest of the butte, looking west. I am very confident I will have lots of reference for paintings throughout the seasons, see above! An exhibit will be held in December, so I will keep in touch with more posts and specific dates. (On my first exploratory hike up the butte I encountered 39 ticks, and on the second only 18. Easily picked off my pant legs. In 11 years of living and hiking here I had never seen a tick until this experience. What we artists will do in pursuit of our profession.)

PAINTING FROM START TO FINISH – a short video

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Please enjoy this short video of me painting, titled Dawn Breaks on Pelican Lake, from start to finish.  You can see it is quite physical (and requires long arms at times.) The accompanying music is Ode to Joy, played on guitar by my talented friend Marco Soliz.

I’M A MOVIE STAR!!!

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February 13, 2018  I’m a movie star! Just kidding. Only in my dreams and in my self-produced short video of me creating a painting from start to finish in my studio. I chopped and edited considerably so the watching my process is significantly shorter – I don’t ask you to watch paint dry! (Well, maybe once.) The painting, titled Dawn Breaks on Pelican Lake, is one of the largest I have done at 24″ x 48″, across three silver shikishi boards. The concept was inspired by a photograph by good friend and artist Cheryl Ingberg and the accompanying music is Ode to Joy, played on guitar by my talented friend Marco Soliz. Since the painting is so large, if you have the chance to view the video and these photos on a larger screen than your phone, you will see much more detail.  

Here I want to share with you a little more about the concept, and how it evolved and changed. My friend Cheryl lives on a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota called Loon Lake.  She posted a stunning photo of an early morning complete with loons in the foreground.  Voila, perfect start for a painting.  I did a few small paintings (6 x 5 and 11 x 10) to work up colors and technique. I decided to paint the largest painting I have done to date – a triptych 24 x 48 that spans 3 silver shikishi boards. I took a photo of one of the sketches, loaded it into Photoshop and literally stretched it from its vertical format to a very horizontal image, and that is what I used to determine where the breaks would be (for each panel.)  Half way through the now VERY wet and large awkward painting I splashed brown paint in the sky.  AAAACCK.  Disaster, right? Well, I decided I would continue until the completed painting dried, remove the specks (lifting the paint back to silver background) and make them into stars in the early morning sky.  Then I decided that a few pelicans lifting off of the surface of the water would blend in nicely into the starry sky.  So Loon Lake turned into Pelican Lake with no turning back.  I am very excited by the result.  

Unfortunately, photography can’t capture the sheen of the silver in the lake or sky.  (It looks like white in the photos, but imagine shiny soft silver.)  I guess you will have to come see it in person.  It will end up in one of the galleries that represents me – stay tuned.  

Another closeup to show the (usually) intentional water marks I use in my paintings:

Here are the two smaller studies, giving you some scale for the large painting: