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Painter’s Joy

Ruebush Mountains

Usually, my life is pretty quiet.  Not this week, though… it has been a whirlwind of appointments and varied urgencies.  What a relief when I could slip down to my studio and lose myself in a painting.  This one in particular has been a delight.  It is a commission from someone whose blog I have been enjoying for some time now.  I have been lucky here in blogland, “meeting” some wonderful people that I would never have gotten to meet otherwise.  Being trusted with a special memory is such an honor and I really wanted to get it right.

Today was the day.  To my delight, my client wanted me to meet him and his wife at the Oregon IL. library, a halfway point for both of us.  The library there is a very beautiful old building, with an art gallery in the upstairs.  How great is that?  The area was once the site of an artist colony, and the library would host their events.  In return the artists donated work to the library, and these are the works that are on display.  I was amazed to find paintings and sculptures worthy of a major art museum tucked into the upstairs of a library in rural Illinois.  I am not doing justice to the story, but if you are ever in the area I strongly recommend a visit~it is wonderful.

We arrived at just about the same time, and introduced ourselves.  In the library we were shown to a room where we could visit and the painting could be revealed~ he had commissioned it as a gift for his wife.  I was holding my breath as the wrapping came off, I can tell you!  Her reaction was everything I could have hoped for.  It was a very moving moment, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my two new friends.

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Shifting Light

November Forest

“November Forest”

More commissions are in progress in my studio, but I wanted to share this painting with you.  I started it quite awhile ago and it just needed a few touches to finish.  The inspiration came from a new forest preserve here.  It isn’t very high quality right now.  The task the preserve district now faces is restoring habitat in all of the land they have bought over the past several years.  But lots of land has been saved from the greedy developers, so whew!

Although this preserve as a whole is pretty degraded, it does possess this regiment of oaks taking their stand on a hill.  Walking along that day, I was struck by the beautiful soft light coming through the trees as the afternoon drifted to evening.  I could whine for quite awhile about November, and its cold dry air making my skin and hair miserable and my feet cranky in boots when they’d rather be bare.  But just look at that light!  It is a gift to be savored for sure.

For this painting I started out with that light in my mind, and painted the background with wild abandon.  Just color, with a hint of land form.  Then I began adding and subtracting trees until it felt right to me.

I hope, as we roll on into winter, that you are showered in gifts like good health.  And Light.  Lots of light.