Thursday, August 28, 2014

End of Summer

My summer officially ended this week with the start of classes at Tyler/Temple.  To mark the occasion I pulled my jeans out of storage.  And then decided not to wear them...  It's still a bit hot and we might go outside for class today. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sneak Peek

And finally to wrap up my studio updates a peek into the future.  After all that brown, black, and grey I've begun to paint my coleus plants for what I hope will be a pretty cool installation. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Puffin Cam

After the gulls I started playing around with the Puffin screen grabs I've been taking while watching the cam on Seal Island, Maine.  They are 15"x20" and part of an installation of 15 paintings.  I'm not sure if I'm done with it yet. 

My Virtual Puff Observation installed:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paintus Interruptus

My month of painting Lesser Black-back Gulls (at least I think that's what these are...) was interrupted by my summer teaching job and by crappy photos.  I took the photos in Virginia Beach but the light was too annoying and the birds too far away to really enjoy working from them.  This might be the only one of the bunch I'll show to anyone. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ring-billed Gulls

I set out to paint the Willets (previous post) before my semester ended and I determined that I would just paint willets for a month.  I felt the need to focus on something specific and since I'd taken about a thousand photos of those willets I had something that was both the same and offered enough variety to keep going.  I'm particularly interested in the brown birds which can look so alike at a glance but really do have specific differences.  In this case it's the Immature Ring-billed Gulls.  I have a lot to learn in making these paintings which I'm making in the same manner as I made the mountain paintings.  I try as much as possible to paint exactly what I see for as long as I can.  Unlike the mountains, where if the complexity of the image overwhelms me and I get off track no one can tell, these bird paintings are a real challenge to stay focused.  With a few exceptions I determined it was best to work on them all at once.  I determined this after spending several weeks trying to make the worst painting I've ever made that started out fine but got worse every time I touched it.  I'm not so interested in making a bird painting as in maintaining my focus through complex imagery. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Studio Update - Willets

Summer vacation for me started in May.  Well, actually, it was pretty much only May and a few weeks of June.  The time between when my classes end in May and Olivia gets out of school in June is all studio time.  I try to get in there every day as much as possible.  I had dreams of that lasting all summer and plans of getting Olivia to help with with a printmaking project.  But all of that got sidetracked when I picked up my summer teaching gig.  Yesterday I finally got out all the work I made this summer to photograph it.  It turned out to be more than I'd remembered.  This is a sneak peek at some of my favorites.  Eventually I'll update my website but it's pretty far down the to-do list right now. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Great Egrets

The refuge has been full of Great Egrets of late.  I enjoy photographing them but somehow always forget to allow room for reflection.  Literally.  Too bad because the only thing better than two egrets is of course four.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blackbirds in the Wild Rice

I had a wonderful walk around the refuge this morning.  It's been a while since I've made it all the way around the impoundment.  Fall feels near.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In the Foreground

The blurred forms in the background are the Philadelphia Airport.  It's amazing to have such a wealth of natural awesomeness so close to the airport and city.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wood Duck Update

I imagine the impoundment is at Wood Duck capacity.  There have been so many ducklings this year. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Getting Ready

My two weeks off are more about getting ready for Fall than taking a break.  I spent every minute of May & June in the studio planning to start Fall prep when Olivia got out of school.  But by then I was teaching my surprise summer school classes. So this is it.  Time to plan and prepare.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Shock of Color

Everything seemed to glow in Saturday morning's light.  I took quite a few plant and landscape photos.  But then who could resist these colors?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Classes Have Ended

Charcoal on Paper by Josie

Pastel on Paper by Abby

Charcoal on Paper by Jarrett

My final summer class ended on Friday.  Despite the exhaustion of my six hour work days...I know real world, I know...I enjoyed my time with these dedicated High School students.  It's so much fun to see their drawings come to life.  In two weeks I start up again with the college students so not much rest for the weary. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pressed Leaves

Because the coleus leaves are so lumpy and dimensional I decided to press them after scanning them.  The color drained quite quickly.  These are only a week from the day I pressed them.  I shall have to see if pressing fresh leaves overnight gives me some flatness and color. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Coleus Obsession

I've been pretty obsessed with my coleus plants ever since I brought them home with me this Spring.  I'm in the process of attempting to propagate them so I can move them inside this Fall.  I have in mind keeping each of these alive until I can replant them next summer.