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September 2013



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Spring on the Mountain

Spring on the Mountain, originally uploaded by graphicartepsi.

The weather has been mild and damp, and I couldn't resist getting out to paint on the mountain.

Well, we call it a mountain, here--it's just a big hill, but it's the oldest park in this old spa town, crowned with dozens of oak trees of various kinds. I find myself here often--the view is lovely, and it's almost always quiet. Maybe one or two other cars besides mine in the whole park...

This old oak has survived some serious storms, and bears at least 5 scars from lightning strikes--why do I feel an affinity for this tough old survivor?

I tried to capture the effect of the scars...not sure I pulled it off, but I loved trying.

I always remain very aware of what's going on around me, frequently checking my back, scanning the landscape. It would be hard to sneak up on me...I don't worry much, here, I've lived here a lot of years, but a woman alone needs to remain alert. I have my cell phone with me, and on, and at the ready--

We imagine that this need for alertness is something new, but...it's not.

This one's on eBay, here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=012&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=220095880498&rd=1&rd=1

Or Item# 220095880498 if that's too ridiculously long!

I painted another small one, while waiting for this one to dry...it's here, with notes on Flickr about techniques used--you can just click on the image to see them:

 On The Mountain

and it's also up on eBay.

I'm trying so hard to clear things OUT, and just keep making more...this one was fun, though!  Wet in wet is always challenging, and on a really damp day when your paint refuses to dry it's both lovely and frustrating.  It gives you longer to work, and edges stay soft, but I'm forever managing to get my hand in my paint...

I'm spoiled, working on the spot.  It's very hard for me to work from photo references or sketches, now--I just want to be out there...



I love your oak tree, KAte. It has everything...the scars, the strength, his beauty, the delicacy in the branches, his reaching upwards..you have done justice to it's dignity!
The second painting has nice romance in it, beautiful painting!
Thank you, Ronell! They were very different, with different goals and expectations, but I enjoyed both of them...


Sweet Kate, these have an immediacy that is just stunning---talk about atmospherics! You DID render the scars in the tree beautifully, of course. I especially admire that pale violet gray in the background of both paintings---the essence of cool spring.
Hi Miss Laura, and thank you! It's been that wonderful standing-on-tiptoe, leaning-into-spring weather that is so poignant...easy to fall back into winter, easy to turn like a rabid beast of hail and tornado warnings, but so tender and full of hope...

That's a nice mix of ultramarine, a touch of sienna, and quin burnt scarlet, I think, or alizarin crimson...
Lovely painting! And I hear you about watching out for yourself--you never know, and that's a shame. But it pays to be alert.
Thanks Jen!

And yes, I'm afraid it does. I'm not a concealed carry person just yet, but I do know how to take care of myself in most situations, and I don't think I'd hesitate. I used to imagine that I was a complete pacifist, until some one threatened my husband. I'm 5'2", and managed to scare them off! The adrenaline rush was both sobering and surprising.
Lovely, lovely art! Wow!
Thank you, milady! I wasn't sure about the tree, but after letting it sit for a day I think I like it pretty well...
Honestly, I think that the use of color--as well as the contrast between the soft colors & the crisp lines--makes this one of your best.
Thank you, Ais! I appreciate your artist's eye. I think after looking at it again, that's what I find pleasing too--crisp against soft...
I like the crisp way you have rendered the oak tree. The blue in the bark is beautiful.
Thank you! I had to wash some of it back, I'd gotten TOO many colors in the bark.*G*