For the last few years, Randy Higbee Gallery has put on a show titled “6” Squared” where hundreds of artists all display 6″ x 6″ paintings. A few weeks ago, I received an email announcement about submitting artwork for the show and decided to give it a shot. Each artist was allowed to enter three paintings and I had two in my “private collection” (read: unsold), so I decided to paint one more to round out my group.
Leslie and I had visited Barnsley Gardens this past August and I took a ton of shots while we were there. If you are not familiar with the story, this guy named Godfrey Barnsley built an amazing house out in Adairsville, GA back in the 1840’s. His wife died while they were completing it, the civil war happened, it was struck by lightening – classic Victorian struggles. Like something out of a Henry James novel. Today, you can walk through the ruins of the house, and they’ve resurrected the original formal gardens. Needless to say, there are endless things to paint there. With my remaining 6″ x 6″ slot I chose one of the views from that trip.
I sent in my three paintings a couple weeks ago and, to my surprise, this little guy made it in. I’ve never submitted work to any kind of juried show and, for that matter, have never even been in any real art show. So, No. 216 is currently in Costa Mesa, CA getting framed and ready to be hung in the show. The opening is December 7th if you happen to be in the area and runs through Christmas.
No. 215 is a painting of a little planter we have. It’s in the shape of a bicycle and was extremely tricky to paint because it’s basically made of thick wire vs. being a solid object. I really liked the way the afternoon sun was falling on the porch and was trying to capture that.
This is a variation of 210. I liked how that one turned out but wondered if it was a little too tight. So, the goal with this was to keep a similar composition but make the brushwork a little more loose.
This one goes back to No. 94 from 2010. I had picked it up again in 2011 and tried to do a 40″ x 30″ of the same basic composition but never finished the painting. I could not figure out what it was missing so I ended up painting it a number of times at the 8″ x 6″ size to try and understand it better. This one is really more of a value study but it felt like it clicked.
No 210 is a view of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. It was done in the parking lot of the old Southern Saddlery building off Broad Street early one morning. It’s so strange how the mountain changes color all throughout the day and in the early morning light it’s such a nice blue-green color.
No. 209 is a scene from the backyard. Our house has probably six or seven really pretty hydrangea bushes in the backyard and the way the light hit this one was really nice one afternoon. I did the underpainting using Burnt Sienna en plein air and added the colors after it had dried.
This is based on No. 169 from 2011. I had painted that one in Seaside while we were there and always really liked the feel of it. After doing a few of the Egan’s Creek ones I realized I could go back to any of the ones I’ve done to revisit them and try to learn more.
I can still remember walking around the corner and seeing this guy in the light. The back corner of Seaside is really quiet and it was just me and the gazebo that morning. Fun to go back and revisit it.
No. 205 is the last of the Egan’s Creek ones for a while. When I put the underpainting down on 203, I also did the underpainting for this one. Instead of a light, loose version I opted for a darker version of the exact color that would be eventually visible. So, instead of just seeing the Burnt Sienna through the broken color you can see a darker version of what is there. I think it works really well on the sky and helped to keep the light and shadows defined.
One other thing to note is that I’ve started putting these back on Etsy. You should see an “Available” button beneath the painting which that will take you over to my Etsy store. Since I was last posting the’ve added “options” as well, so I am now offering the paintings framed or unframed.
This one was actually painted at the same time as 202, but all I put down at the time was a Burnt Sienna base. I had a hard time grasping the colors with 202 and decided to get the basics down and come back once it dried to experiment, indoors, with the color side of it. There are some things about this one that are better but at the same time I think 202 had a liveliness that is lacking in 204. It could be the composition too. The ivy in the pot gets a bit lost, but it felt good to look at this from another angle.