July 26, 2009

"Through the Dunes"

"Through the Dunes", 24" x 24", oil on linen, Lydia Johnston

What a perfect summer's day we just had. Upper 70˚s, sunny, light breezes. Here I am in the Green Mountains of Vermont, surrounded by all shades of green, and I'm dreaming of the ocean.

July 23, 2009

New paintings to Lenox Gallery of Fine Art

"Meadow Treasures", 24" x 30", oil on canvas, Lydia Johnston

Today I delivered two new paintings to the Lenox Gallery of Fine Art in Lenox, MA. "Meadow Treasures" is the last of my gem series of meadow paintings, for now. And "Awakening" is my newest large painting in a series of big sky paintings I am working on.

"Awakening", 30" x 40", oil on canvas


"Awakening", 30" x 40", oil on canvas, Lydia Johnston

Create: to produce through artistic or imaginative effort

This has been an exciting time for me. I may have been out for four weeks, but now I have emerged bursting with ideas, and am turning out some of my best paintings.

I find it interesting that the definition for "create" speaks of artistic or imaginative "effort". During the first two weeks after my bicycle accident, there was no way I could even consider painting in my studio. I had no energy for anything but the healing process.

Creating takes a certain mind set, it does require "effort". As I began to be up and about, I could make myself do certain tasks, I could read, but there was no way I could make myself create. It's a little frightening to lose that ability when it is normally what you do on a daily basis.

By the fourth week I was able to finally return to my studio. And what a time I have been having. It's as though all kinds of ideas had been incubating while I was healing. The creativity is pouring out of me.

The first uninterrupted day, I painted a full 30" x 40" sky-scape, and except for one minor adjustment, it was all completed in a number of hours. I was completely drained by the end of that day, but exhilarated as well. And the following day I completed another small sky-scape.

I know I cannot sustain this level of output. Normally I hope to complete a painting in a week, and more likely it takes two or more weeks, with sustained effort. So I will revel in this flow of ideas and creativity.

July 19, 2009

Painting Skies

12" x 9", oil on linen, Lydia Johnston

Some people may disagree, but I have been loving the weather here in southern Vermont this summer. Cool temperatures, imagine 60's and 70's throughout June and July. Only now, by the third week in July, are we creeping up to the 80's. Chill evenings when a blanket is needed. Almost no humidity, so the air feels crisp and the mountains and ridges are clear.

And the ever changing skies, sun shining and then clouds building, the sky getting dark, and darker, and suddenly it's raining. Yes, we've had a lot of rain. But most days, before you know it, the sun is breaking out again, the clouds are scudding across the sky. I love it. The ever changing pattern and movement in our skies. And so I am focused on painting big skies.

July 16, 2009

Back in My Studio

11" x 8", oil on linen, Lydia Johnston

I'm finally back in my studio painting and it feels great. Four weeks ago I was injured in a bicycle accident, no broken bones, but I did a face plant on the pavement and suffered deep abrasions. No energy for anything but healing for the first two weeks. And then another two weeks impatiently waiting for the scrapes on my hands to fully close over so that I could safely work with oil paints.

So I started back on this small sky-scape, just 11" x 8". I had completed the under-painting in yellow ocher before the accident, so the values and composition were set. It's painted on the new linen I am starting to work with. What a pleasure to be back playing with color.

July 07, 2009

New paintings in Gem Series to Lenox Gallery of Fine Art

"Rubies and Sapphires", 30" x 40", oil on canvas, Lydia Johnston

I've just delivered two new paintings in my gem series of meadow paintings to the Lenox Gallery of Fine Art. I continue to experiment and play with different color ranges and different perspectives in these meadow paintings.

"Glowing Gems", 30" x 40", oil on canvas

"Rubies and Sapphires" is a close-up view; in "Glowing Gems" I have stepped back and taken in a larger scene.