Monday, March 28, 2011

Waiting for spring

Sunflower I 6x6 oil, copyright 2011

Has it really been almost a month since I last posted?  Things have been gearing up with work and the kids, it seems everyone is frantically preparing for spring.  I actually have done a few art related things this month.  An oil and a pastel are at the Randolf County Art Show in Union City, Indiana.  I've touched up a few pieces from late last year that needed minor work (mostly fixing trees), finished a couple of little oils and started a few pastels.  I also had a few sales from my very first studio visit.  Looking at that list, it seems I accomplished more than I realized!

This winter I also worked on my first commission, the sunflower above.  It's for a friend, done at a time when we both were in need of reminders of summer.   Sunflowers do quite well out here in the country - this past summer we had a few that were probably 8 feet tall or more before a wind storm knocked them over and I had to tie them to the brick wall.  The heads get quite large too, more than a foot across.  It's always a race to save a few seeds for next year before the birds get them all, but it is fun watching them work on these tasty tidbits.  If there are enough, I'll even have a few myself.

I've recently started on a second one so that there will be pair to hang in my friend's kitchen.  It will be a challenge to find the time, but one can never have too many sunflowers!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reflections on a dam

Tributary with Ice 6x6 oil, copyright 2011

Early in February my husband, son and I went tromping through the woods along the creek.  A neighbor had told us that a very ambitious pair of beavers had tried to dam up the creek over the summer.  Because of concerns over the breaking dam potentially causing flash flooding, the beaver were trapped and moved elsewhere.  The remnants of the dam are surprisingly still in place considering that they had built it out of corn stalks of all things!

Just upstream of the dam the water was deep and quiet.  The creek usually doesn't freeze over completely, but there was quite a bit of ice in this spot.  Across the creek from us was one of the many little tributaries that are more typical of the waters that beavers prefer to dam up.  It was a sunny day, and the contrast between the ice and the reflections were what caught my eye on this one.

Unlike the previous 6x6's, I took my time on this one, even going back to it several times to touch up here and there.  It kind of felt this was my first try at applying what I had learned from the previous nine.  I just wish I had time to do more of these!