Friday, October 22, 2021

Returning To The Lakes

It is quite a compliment when someone you know personally commissions work from you.
I am tickled I will get to visit this painting this weekend while on a journey north. 
Thought you might like to see some of the process shots for this piece.
This is one of two pieces I did for a couple's home in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
She wanted it to be reminiscent of the lakes around their home without looking like 
"stereotypical beach art". 
(Note: this photo is at my house, before delivery.)

I love using vintage ephemera in my work. This Rachel Carson book was a great candidate. 
This thrift shop treasure had a broken back and soiled pages so I didn't feel the least bit guilty about cutting it into pieces!

Carson's prose is lovely, as are the pen & ink style drawing used to illustrate sea and shore life. 
I selected pages and passaged that pertained to the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware watershed and set them aside.

While you don't need Art to Match Your Couch, it IS nice to have coordinating hues in a room if you are looking to continue the calm d├ęcor and feel of the existing space. 
One way to do that is to take all the colors in the room and use them in the background of a piece. 
My intention was that they should peek through the finished piece and speak to the other elements in the room.
This can sound easier than it actually is. 
The photo above is three and four layers deep!

I then thought about how to add the paper. 
I settled on shapes that echoed the leaves of the neighborhood tree lined lakes. 
Others have mentioned they see schools of fish or wave patterns in this step. 
I love how art is open to multiple interpretations!

Many layers of paint and glazes later I blocked in houses in the neighborhood. 
This added a small jolt of familiarity to the abstract and provided a smile to the homeowners because they know exactly what part of the lake this represents.

Here is the finished piece. 
Outwardly simple but full of layers, effort, depth, and meaning.
I feel it is symbolic of our relationship with our "happy places" in this world 
and how we need to be good stewards of them.
I would like to think Rachel Carson would approve.