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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finland has the most incredible sunsets.

Baltic at Night, 11x14 in. on stretched canvas
Finland has amazing sunsets.  The Baltic on the west coast and the wide open skies create perfect conditions to enjoy the spectacular show.  The sunsets last so long at Northern latitudes, in summer the sun follows the horizon most of the day and night.  In the midwest where we live now, the sun blazes down in summer, from straight overhead, making it something to be avoided.  But in Finland the sun comes at a welcome angle from near the horizon in summer, perfect landscape lighting!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The weight of snow on the redbud tree

The weight of snow on the redbud tree, 11x14 inches acrylic on stretched canvas

Like I've said before, I don't generally paint snow.  When I was a kid, I enjoyed painting pretty little scenes of animals and cheerful snow with beautiful pastel blue highlights, but that was back when I didn't have to spend days cleaning it and driving through it, or worrying about my family trying to get home.  Funny how growing up changes your perspective so much.  Today is actually a bright, sunny day, with sunbeams radiating off of the close to three feet of snow on the ground.  Only about half an inch fell last night, just enough to make everything clean and crisp.  I sat down to paint a joyous tribute to the beautiful winter landscape, but quickly decided to finish another blizzard painting that I started during last week's blizzard.  Then I found this photo of our redbud tree that I took two nights ago with the intention of painting.  Something about the desolate beauty of this twisted tree struck me.  It was glowing in the light from the house, and the reflected light from the snow.  I have no idea how to capture this glow and majesty with my camera, it seemed whatever settings I used, the camera just couldn't capture what I saw and felt staring at this cold tree.  I snapped a few mediocre photos and tried to remember the rest of its desolate beauty.

The Icy Road, 16x20 inches acrylic on stretched canvas

The Crane

This is a painting from a photo from my father-in-law of a familiar field in Finland.  After the crane landed, according to the back of the old photo, there were two family births.  The strong lines of this painting really appeal to me, it is one of my favorites.  16x20 inches on stretched canvas.

Another version of the blizzard

My daughter was inspired to make her own version of "The Blizzard" on an 8x10 stretched canvas.  She did a beautiful job, so cheerful for such a gloomy subject!  She learned a lot about painting trees and lighting.  I barely get to see her work until it is finished or she needs to know how to do something.  She is so independent (and maybe a little stubborn), but she learns best by watching and experimenting.  Not a bad way for a girl to be!

I'm not sure what she titled this next one, she painted it last year while looking at a book of Thomas Kinkaid paintings.  It is 16x20 inches on stretched canvas.  I love her color mixing and depth in this one!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Blizzard

With most of the country in blizzard conditions today, what better subject to paint?  This is the Linden tree in our yard in the blowing snow.  It feels like the world outside is turning into a giant snow globe right now, with snow blowing sideways.  Tonight we are supposed to have "thunder snow."  Don't think I've ever heard thunder while it is snowing before.  I painted this while waiting for the kids to come home from school on their buses, I think a bit of my worry crept in.  Not necessarily a day I want to remember, but I love this painting!  This acrylic painting is 16x20 inches on stretched canvas.