Where does your inspiration come from?

Where does your inspiration come from?

Much of my inspiration comes from the natural world. I love hiking the woods and shore trails of coastal Connecticut and the mountains of New Hampshire. I recently had the good fortune to experience the unusual beauty of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.

inspiration

“Smoky Mountain Path” is an award winning painting in my reactive metals series, inspired by my visit there. The paintings in this series use a unique method of oxidizing reactive paints to create rust or patina. Reactive metals are a series of paints by Modern Masters, containing iron, copper or bronze, that are carefully applied to a substrate, then oxidized to create rust or patina. The result is a rich and lustrous range of color that I believe is unachievable with ordinary paint. The process is fun, if painstaking. The iron paint must be applied in two coats and allowed to dry before oxidizing. The bronze and copper paints must be oxidized while wet. Sometimes the blend created between the two becomes the best part of the piece.

Osprey Emerging

Osprey Emerging is another in my reactive metals series. I’m passionate about ospreys and consider them one of the most impressive species ever to grace the planet. Talk about inspiration! Each fall they travel thousands of miles south to their wintering grounds in South America, and return in the spring to the same nest, to mate with the same partner! In this piece, the reactives combine with acrylic paints to create a range of texture and color, which you can see here with the magnifying feature.

Click here to see more paintings in this series.

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Reactive Metal Paints

Reactive Metal Paints

I recently had three of my mixed media paintings in reactive metal paints accepted into two separate juried exhibitions. My “Cold Mountain” in on display at the Madison Art Society’s annual member show at the Scranton Library in Madison, CT. This piece uses rusted iron paint, as well as patinated copper and bronze paints. The oxidized metals together create a multi textural image. 

Two small pieces, “Smoky Mountain Path” and “Osprey Emerging”, are on exhibit at the Essex Art Association’s spring juried show. “Smoky Mountain Path” received the Moore Award. Both of these pieces incorporate reactive metals and acrylic paints.

“Smoky Mountain Path” (Award winner)

“Osprey Emerging” Oxidized Metals

I continue to work on these mixed media pieces in reactive metal paints. And, of course, I’m incorporating my favorite subject, the osprey. The oxidation process is an unpredictable addition to my carefully laid out design. I’ll post regular updates on my Facebook page. All the paintings in this posting are available for purchase.

“Survival” Reactive Metals

Reactive Metals, reactives, oxidized metals, rusted iron, patinated copper, patina, rust, oxidized iron, mixed media, osprey painting, osprey flying, bird art,

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Stations of the Cross for Saint Catherine of Siena

Stations of the Cross for Saint Catherine of Siena

Stations of the Cross for Saint Catherine of Siena

I recently had the honor and the privilege to paint the 14 Stations of the Cross for Saint Catherine of Siena in Simsbury, Conn. Father Michael Whyte approached me and asked if I could create a modern rendition of the Stations that would be minimal, yet intense and moving. I made several sketches to determine just what Father Whyte was looking for. The result is a series that tells a story with intensely rendered figures and dramatic lighting. I worked through the winter on the 14 canvases and just before holy week, the paintings were installed in the modern style Roman Catholic church.

In planning and composing the paintings, I had to think about each one as a piece that could stand on its own, as well as be a part of a story that is so integral to the Catholic faith. When I was satisfied with the sketch for each of the paintings, I hired a model to pose as Jesus and another to pose as Mary and Veronica. My Jesus model wore a wig and a “crown of thorns” that I fashioned out of a vine from the plastic flower department of Michaels. I built a small replica of the cross as reference for the different positions it would appear in.

The paintings are done on unframed, gallery wrapped canvas. I created trompe l’oeil “frames” by gilding the edges of the canvases. I designed a stencil of a lily motif to go around the paintings over the gold leaf, creating a symbolic connection to the church (the symbol of Saint Catherine is the lily), and representing the resurrection of Jesus.

Stations of the Cross for Saint Catherine of Siena     

Click on an image to view it larger.

Photos below by Matt Branscombe of BSC Studios in New Haven

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Art Opening at Friends & Co. Madison

Art Opening at Friends & Co. Madison
Art Opening at Friends & Co. Madison

Osprey Nesting by Holly Whiting

Looking for something to do next Sunday? Come to an Art Opening at Friends & Co. Madison

I am pleased to be showing my paintings along with Guilford artist Pamela Morgan in a show at Friends & Co.  Pamela Morgan specializes in watercolor paintings that are often vibrant and fantastical. Her baby birds series is one of my favorites. She is also a wonderful teacher, having taught me all I know about watercolor painting, which I have recently come to love.

Art Opening at Friends & Co. Madison

Please join us on Sunday, March 19, 2017 for an artists’ reception and opening from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. Complimentary wine and refreshments will be served.

While Pam and I both have a thing for birds, I promise there are some non-bird paintings on exhibit!

"Snowy Owl" 11x14 $175

“Snowy Owl” by Holly Whiting

Pams baby birds

Baby Blues by Pamela Morgan

Pams raven

Flight by Pamela Morgan

 

From the restaurant’s website:

At Friends and Company we take great pride in our involvement with the greater Connecticut shoreline community. We host many community events for local businesses and organizations. Friends and Company also promotes and supports local artists by hosting their work in the restaurant for purchase. Our critically acclaimed bread and baked goods can be found at local businesses like Bishop’s Orchard. Friends & Company’s facilities are a great space for receptions of all sizes, from small intimate dining, to large holiday parties. We always enjoy hearing from the community and welcome your comments and questions. If you would like more information on any of our services, or would like to tell us how we are doing, please call us at (203)-245-0462 or stop by and visit

Fine art, fine artist, muralist, murals, mural artist, bird art, artist, painting, owl painting, bird paintings

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Birds in Art – Watercolor paintings

Birds in Art – Watercolor paintings

As many of you know, one of my favorite subjects to paint is birds. Birds in the wild, birds in all their glory, birds in art. I love to watch wading birds, like herons and egrets, as they tip toe around the shallows waiting to strike.

birds in art - watercolor paintings

Osprey Eye

Other fishing birds like ospreys circle above the cove where I live looking for their prey – menhaden, or, “bunker” fish. The swallows nest in the stone wall down at the beach. These little guys fly around seemingly erratically. But they know just what they’re doing. They catch thousands of flying insects each night. I love these guys!

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

When I paint birds in watercolor, I like to use the medium to show the color intensity as well as the spirit of the birds. So sometimes I’ll show my subject’s eyes, for example, in great detail, but “blow up” the rest of the bird, like in the parakeet pictured here.

Parakeet

Parakeet

Some of my watercolor paintings of birds can be seen, and purchased, at the Branford Art Center. You can purchase original paintings and prints at my Etsy shop, where you can also order custom work. Commissions in all sizes accepted.

Many of the pieces in my online gallery are for sale. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing or commissioning a piece, or just to leave a comment. Thanks!

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Fairfield Library Children’s Room

Fairfield Library Children’s Room

I recently had the pleasure of working on a fun project in the Fairfield Library Children’s Room. The puppet theater is a castle complete with a puppet stage, a backstage area with costumes, and lots of room for imagination. I had fun creating the “stone” work of the castle walls, leaving openings where kids can get a glimpse into a fabulous world. The frog from “The Wind in The Willows” makes an appearance, as does the “Very Hungry Caterpillar.” MouseCorduroy is hiding backstage, along with a couple of puppies and a boy climbing a bean stalk. There are also three mice hiding in plain sightFairfield Library Children's Room.

Librarian Karen Ronald and Children’s Services librarian Helene Murtha are devoted to the community they serve. It was a pleasure working with them.

More photos here.TagBefore

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Water in art – Rivers, Lakes and Ponds

Water in art – Rivers, Lakes and Ponds

I am constantly inspired by the variety of nature all around me. Rivers, lakes, and ponds all help to add another dimension to a painting. I don’t know if it is because the water reflects the sky. Or maybe because we come from water. But it seems to me to add a certain comfort and calm to a piece of art. Here is a recent series of works showcasing the transcendent beauty of water in art. Media used include pastels, watercolor and acrylics.

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad 

Click on an image for a larger view.

Water in art

Sue’s River 11 x 14 Pastel

 

 

Linda's Woods 11 x 14 Watercolor

Linda’s Woods 11 x 14 Watercolor

beaver-pond-16

The Beaver Pond 9 x 12 Watercolor

 

Linda's River 11 x 14 Watercolor

Linda’s River 11 x 14 Watercolor

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

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