Extending an Experience

In my last Artist Story post, I mentioned sharing my painting process and how I build ‘bayscapes.’ The journey starts with an experience. I may take photographs while walking along Bayshore towards Philippe Park while I greet the sun, or maybe a visit to the marina ends in watching the sun setting behind moored boats. In the case of the Emerging Artist Exhibition, I chose to paint from photographic references from a particular day that stands out in my mind. On July 12th 2022, my husband and I spent quality time together and launched our canoe from Cooper’s Bayou Park. The water was flat, the air was windless, and the views were breathtaking.

The next part is selection. How do I choose which photos to paint from? I cannot explain it as it’s less of a thought process and more of a feeling, a joyful urge to paint the image, to share it with others, and a knowing that the image has enough qualities to allow me to stare at it for a considerable time. After stretching and applying gesso to the canvas, every painting starts with a red underpainting, usually cadmium red hue but occasionally alizarin crimson.

Then the layers begin. I block out large areas with color and blend with big brushes. Oil painting allows just enough drying time for me to come and go. I think there is a type of translation that happens when you look at a digitally captured image of nature and try to recreate the scene on a two-dimensional flat surface. But underneath all the oxidized paint and evaporated spirits is a desire to relive and extend an experience past its original timeframe.

I made a few short Youtube videos showing the process while the paintings were still works in progress. You can see the completed framed works at the Emerging Artist Exhibition


Cooper’s Chorus

Sunrise Sonata

Ballad of the Bayou


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