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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A year ago, I was in Blair Co., Pennsylvania, attending my mother's family reunion. The next day, I went to Ganister, where my grandparents lived. I spent most summers there as a child and everywhere are things that bring back fond memories. My grandfather owned a big brick house and on the same property was an old double frame house that, at one time, had been a freight depot for the railroad. Various family members lived in it over the years. In my childhood, this end of it was Uncle Fred and Aunt Barbara Guerin's home. In those days it was stuffed full of kids and the warm smells of Aunt Barbara's homemade bread and other goodies.
Time has passed and it was no longer lived in. In sad repair and need of much restoration, my cousins sold it to the Rails to Trails organization. After restoration, it is now has new life as a rest stop on the trail between Hollidaysburg and Williamsburg. On my last visit, I photographed the old buildings and scenes. This particular door, the old cellar door in Uncle Fred's house just begged to be painted. It represented how time adds a certain patina yet, a sense of timelessness, too! This door was very old in my childhood and still goes on into the next hundred years!
It is painted in pastel on Wallis Sanded Paper. That day, the light played with colors in a lovely way as it streamed down across the door and wall while the shadows had a wonderful purple quality. Moss did its part, also, in the color show! The door, the wall and all the house is ready to go on into the future!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When is white not white at all? Actually, we can say, "always" if we are looking carefully and if we are painting carefully!
The Watercolor Workshop June project had to do with seeing and painting white. Our shared image was a white iris. As usual, we can take liberties with the image and I did add some elements. The interplay of light and shadow and the influence of nearby colors all influence what we see and what our brains have come to read as "white." This was a fun project to do and it got the whole group into great discussions of the rendering of white subjects.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Glacier's Gift to the Prairie

The painting that is at the top of the blog is one that I made based upon photographs taken at Curtis Prairie at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin. Curtis Prairie is one of the few original tall grass prairies left in the state. By that, I mean that is was never plowed under, farmed or developed in any way. We are fortunate to have many new prairie restorations to further expand our natural tall grass prairies in the state.
I call this painting "The Glacier's Gift to the Prairie." Another feature in Wisconsin are the beautiful glacial boulders that the glaciers brought down from Canada and dumped in our state.
Many homes have lovely rock walls in gardens made of these boulders. We have a couple of those in our home gardens. This particular rock wall is along the edge of the prairie at the visitor center.
I painted it in pastel on Wallis sanded pastel paper. I was attracted to the light and shadow patterns on the rocks and the interaction with the native grasses.