Sunday, November 22, 2015

Carving a Tree

A few days ago I photographed a November 2014 painting of mine as the backdrop for a little project. That painting—Island Road—popped into mind again today while I stood at my easel experimenting like crazy.

A year ago? I labored over Island Road off and on for weeks, fussing and fussing and fussing with it.

Today? I was all derring-do.

Had an idea, dove in. 1-2-3.

I spread, scraped, and smoothed a bunch of fall colors till they covered a sheet of canvas paper.

Roughed in a sketch on top of the colors.

Mixed up some sky with titanium white, ultramarine blue, and dioxazine purple.

Carved a maple tree out of negative space.

Sat outdoors in the sun to add touches with oil pastels.


Two hours, maybe? And fun!

Bold as Brass
8x6", acrylic and oil pastel on canvas paper

In process:


  1. Gorgeous! My favorite of yours so far, Dotty! Your practice, experimenting, and perseverance are sure paying off.......and quickly, too! One thing I cover in my classes is the "fiddling, faddling, and fussing" we all do. It takes time, but to try to get to a point where you lay a brushstroke down..; BOOM! Confident, thick, beautiful brushstroke! There's a great exercise-----limited stroke. Do a pear or other object/person, etc, and count the brushstrokes with a specific maximum number. It forces you to "get er done", one brushstroke at a time, with no second guessing. It's a great exercise.. It's not about getting a painting done fast, but to appreciate the importance of each stroke. Great painting!

    1. Dotty I really like all of your pinks. They are vibrant and happy.

    2. Ann, thanks for stopping by to check out my pinks! The excerpted painting now displayed as the banner of my blog was my first pink in awhile. It'll be posted soon as an actual blog entry. I did another today, which will probably not be posted till the weekend; it's the one whose colors seemed to be triggered by your Life in Pink painting.

  2. Laurie, thank you for your ongoing feedback, encouragement, and mentoring. I am filled with gratitude!

    Limited stroke exercise sounds like a plan; I'm putting it in the lineup circling the airport looking for a place to land. Confident, thick, beautiful brushstroke—boom!, here I come, with wonderment and trust.

  3. I really like this one! Almost looks like the tree is not composed of leaves, but rather of large tongues of flame.

  4. Stuart, thanks for your comments! I was on fire as I painted—hence the flames!

  5. WOW Dotty, I love your banner, and this tree is gorgeous. So lively! Happy Thanksgiving week to you and your family.

    1. Sheila, thanks for your comments! Banner will get its own post soon. The tree has me eager to continue playing with negative painting.