It has been a while since I’ve posted anything. Having undergone a total ankle replacement at the end of October and a subsequent bout of pneumonia which re-hospitalized me, I have taken much longer to regain my energy and ability to spend the necessary studio time. I am back now and plan to make up for lost time. The family dogs are as happy as I about this since they love nothing better than to lie about in the studio while I am there. This one is Leo, a German Shepherd mix.
Actually this is a re-start of Penn Cove Barn. I originally started last autumn but painted over two failed attempts. For some reason I have, at least until now, been unable to make the composition work. I think, this time, I am on the right track. I will keep you posted with progress. This is what it looks like at the moment.
Christmas has always held a special and mysterious attraction for me. Although there is a religous component to Christmas and I do love the ritual and ceremony found in the religous celebrations, I find that the mystery involves more than the belief in a particular biblical character. I believe that the extending of the care and compassion that Jesus urged on us to each of our fellow creatures regardless of religion, sex, species, or orientation is the meaning of Christmas.
So whether you believe as I do or not, I am wishing each of you a safe, warm, and contented holiday this year and as properous a new year as you need.
Autumn was welcomed today by the season’s first significant storm. With 35-40 mph winds and two inches of rain, it was mild compared to many parts of the world. I’m sure people in Colorado would call our storm “Light Showers” but this is only the first of many interesting storms that will roll up and down the Pacific Coast over the next five months.
The rain and wind encouraged me to go search out some surf along Whidbey Island’s shoreline. So, with wife and two of our four dogs, we set off to look at our favorite spots. Unfortunately the surf wasn’t “Up” but the day turned very pleasant with only a little rain and gentle winds. We ended up at Deception Pass located at the very Northern tip of Whidbey Island where I did make some sketches of some great rock formations. Two of them are shown here. These will be the starting point of my next two or three paintings.
Although I am sad to see Summer go, the Autumn and Winter months, here in the Pacific Northwest offer opportunities of more studio time (Can’t use the excuse of too nice a day to stay in the studio) and to see a new set of colors and compositions.
I hope you like the sketches and I hope this finds you healthy, safe, and warm with a furry companion and a sweet significant other to keep you company.
On Saturday, 14 September, 2013, I will be participating in the Coupeville, WA celebration of “The Art of the Boat” event. You can read the event information on the blog site http://coupevilleartoftheboat.blogspot.com/2013/09/sojust-what-is-going-to-happen-on.html.
If you are in the area, stop by. I will be in the Coupeville Recreation Hall but there will be many other artists in various shops and public locations in Coupeville.
I hope to see you there.
P.S. This is my latest and I will have it on display on Saturday.
Due to the surprisingly good May weather here in the Pacific Northwest, I have spent several days on the beach at Deception Pass State Park. This is one of my favorite places here on Whidbey Island and to be able to spend time their painting in warm sunny weather is a real treat. This piece is a from a view directly across the channel leading to the Deception Pass bridge. It is a small island that has narrowly been eroded away from Fidalgo Island and its virtually vertical sides are painted with a variety of subtle colors. The piece is 9 x 12 inches.
This is a video I recently found on Will Kemp’s web site which made me laugh and touches on emotions one sometimes feels in this business. I hope you find it humorous, also.
Two years back while recovering from ankle replacement surgery and suffering greatly from cabin fever, I was finally released to drive again but no walking. Gladly I hobbled out to the car on any clear or even thinking about clear day to drive around our Whidbey Island looking for things to paint. Since I couldn’t yet walk, I had to work mainly from the driver’s seat and I took this photo of Useless Bay. You can see the windshield corner post in the lower left.
I liked something about the scene but wasn’t able to make it into anything I liked. We have some spectacular cloud formations pass over Whidbey Island and I finally just realized that this was about clouds and what the light was doing to the clouds. Cropping out most of the land mass allowed the focus to be the clouds without the distraction of all that negative space, yet the remaining negative space accenuate the light.
This is an 8 x 10 piece which looks good in a frame. It can be purchased, including frame and shipping in the continental United States for $49.00 U.S.
The winter weather, here on Whidbey Island, pretty much restricts me to studio work. Rain, cold , and dampness does not go well with either acrylic painting or my sometimes raging arthritis. Even our two German Shepherds, Maggie Mae and Leo, who normally live their lives in the orchard, prefer these days to be in the house. In this quiet time there is a lot of work to do here in the studio. I have no where nearly completed the ideas brought back from my summer road trip and even the gray shades of a Pacific Northwest Winter provide some interesting ideas.
I have been working on a series of small format (8 x 10 and 9 x 12 inch) color sketches some of which I show here. Although finished in their own right, many of these are the test platforms for larger pieces. These are framed and ready to hang. For those who love fine art but have budget concerns (don’t we all?), I’ve priced these at $49.00 including free shipping in the continental United States. You can find them on my web-site ( www.gherrytaylor.com )in the “Small Pieces gallery.
Summer will find me on the road again but this year I will be taking a number of shorter runs primarily in Western Washington along the coast and through the San Juan Islands. My old motor home purchased last year and currently undergoing some renovations will take part in these travels. I was taken by its great windows from which it is possible to paint even when it is raining our doors. I will return to California and Yosemite again soon, though, most likely in spring, 2014.
I, as most artists do, study the work of many other working artists, past and present. The reasons for this are many but the primarily we do this as part of our training much like a writer learns to write by reading other writers and I am influenced heavily by a number of artists. Recently I came across a DVD by David Dunlop in which he showed an interesting way of painting a landscape. My wife, Donna, seeing my interest in this brought home a Bob Ross DVD for me to watch. Now, I hardly paint like Bob Ross but after, shall I say maturing as an artist?, I find his methods create astounding results. His intent, I believe, was to make us think painting was easy and perhaps for Bob it was. Although his tools and colors seem to be the opposite of what most of us claim to use he still could create paintings that one had to admire. I know I have learned things from his teaching. I think it pays to keep an open mind and an open eye.
These paintings are also listed on e-Bay. Search for Gherry Taylor to see my current listings.
A scouting party, from Spring’s advancing legions, arrived at our house this morning, with blustery winds, rapidly changing skies, and that sharp clean smell in the air of good things and good times to come. Everything seems to have come alive to embrace this new feeling: Plump catkins suddenly adorn the nut trees, daffodils thrust themselves up from the soil, and the willows get ready to burst their little pussycat buds. I am urged to wrap in a warm quilt and sit somewhere in the orchard just to savor this brief time. I am sure my four dogs believe this a grand idea, also.
It is said we do not remember days, we only remember moments: Perhaps my first step outside this morning was one.
When I lived in California and was subject to the day after day clear blues sky and the 100 degree temperatures of the San Joaquin valley summers, I didn’t see the gold in those hills. Living as I do now, in the Pacific Northwest, where blue sky is a real treat and 100 degrees is a very rare occurrence, I appreciate California more than I did back then. I now can see the continual variation in the hills and the spectacular show put on by the setting sun.
During my drive down route 41, at the end of my week painting in Yosemite’s high country, I was fortunate to be able to watch the California light show as I drifted through the foothills above Fresno. I did not take time to stop and capture the images with either brush or camera but the memory stuck. This piece, available in my gallery and on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261160380796&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT), is one of the images from that trip. A nice change from the mist and rain of winter, don’t you think?.
Stay warm and safe,