Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quiet Night, 9"x7" SOLD

This morning I got this painting out of the drawer with the purpose of photographing it for my records, but while I was at it, I noticed a few things that were bothering me. So I got to work and it's now officially finished. I have found that it's much easier to see what needs to be done with a painting if I take photos of it.

This is the view looking east from my backyard. The main street that bisects the city is on the other side of the tall houses. I worked from a photo I took a year ago, and remember being surprised at the time for having captured the color of the sky with my camera. I emphasized the color in the painting to convey a surreal mood.

I was going to title it Winter Moon, but considering that my neighborhood is truly quiet only when it rains or when it's a cold winter night, I thought the present title was more appropriate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Orion, 10" x 13" - SOLD

Orion is my favorite constellation of the winter sky. As a kid I didn't know the meaning of the name, nor what it represented. All that mattered to me then, was that it was the easiest to recognize: three stars close together in a row, and bingo!

For this painting I use a photo of a field on Rt 80, South of Syracuse, taken a year ago during daylight. I changed the field's orientation from east to south, and the rest was observation.
I had to wait till we had a clear night to brave the cold several times in order to track the constellation's movements. This is Orion's position at 6:00PM.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brook in Winter, 12"x9"

The last three days have been the coldest we've had so far (with temperatures at night in the single digits and in the 20's during the day), yet I've been working in my studio, and without a heater. I'm not whining nor complaining this time--totally the opposite, I'm surprised at myself for feeling compelled to paint despite the cold!
Once I get into the swing of things I tend to forget about the cold, and it's only when my fingers start to feel really clumsy and my toes are numb that I'm forced to take a break. I thaw my fingers in warm water, then drink some tea sitting by the stove, and back to work. If I can stand this cold, maybe I could paint outdoors when this freezing front is over...

This is another "happy" or sunny winter scene. It was worked from top to bottom in a loose way, but when I got to the sunny area in the stream I couldn't help but to pay attention to details.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Creek in Winter , 11"x14"

Winter is my least favorite season, not because of the cold but because of the limited greens in the landscape.
I'm from Costa Rica, where I spend one half of my life surrounded by varieties of greens all-year round. The other half has been here in Syracuse, and although I have learned to love the seasons and the changes they bring, I still resent winter for taking away the greens. It's no wonder then that I have painted only 3 winter scenes since I started with pastels eight years ago! However, because this past year marked my "half and half" life, I got to think that it's very likely that winter will continue being part of my future, and that it was time for me to fully embrace it. Thus, this painting, the third so far this season!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Panoramic View, 9" x12" SOLD

This is another view from Highland Forest Park. With this painting I was trying to learn some more about aerial perspective and about the different colors of the snow.

I posted it on Wet Canvas where several members shared interesting thoughts with me. One was whether a crop was in order or not. The almost half and half composition here is viewed as a no-no, so I was considering reducing the sky area. But then, other members pointed out a few things that made me realize the sky was a key element and that decided me to leave it as it was. I just hope no one will ever ask me to use this painting in a book in order to illustrate " Things artists should avoid."

I love panoramic scenes. The feeling of big open space is liberating and humbling at the same time. Invariably, while I feast on the view, I hear a voice whispering "you're just a tiny spec on this earth" , and I always reply, "but one who's enjoying the moment."