Whether painting random marks that “just happen” to look like fields/trees, or slashing away with palette knives for marks that just happen to look like background boats, the process is the same: I half close my eyes, and experience the tightrope balancing act between abandonment and restraint.
This recently-completed painting is currently available. Feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
This scene was begging to be painted. It’s based on a small, zoomed-in corner of my recent painting, “Top of Hill.” The composition was pleasing to my eye every time I viewed it in the video posted on the “Top of Hill” blog. I would kind of like to have another go at it in a vertical orientation.
Here’s the video, in case you didn’t see it in the previous blog.
Isn’t this a common sight in the country? I would build my home on the top of a hill, too, if given the opportunity.
Maybe you will enjoy this video of the finished painting in my studio. I have to straddle these large canvases on two easels. Any larger (such as 60″x48″ vertical), and they have to be hung on the wall to be painted.
After living with the first version (below) for a day, I realized I’d never be satisfied with the area above the trees. I am drawn to value contrasts, and the old version didn’t have enough of it for me. It also didn’t have enough “happy white” in the sky to offset the darker clouds.
The quality of light in the photo makes it look like I changed a lot of things. All I changed is the color of the band of sky that goes directly above the trees. And I pushed the tops of some of the trees down a little in the process.
Apparently, I should have taken my own advice to “stop and drink it in” (drink in the painting, that is) before I posted it.
Addendum: The changes keep happening on this painting! I’ve decided to change the title to “Middle of Nowhere,” because that was my original idea, and at least two followers who have commented on it have mentioned it looks like it is “in the middle of nowhere.” It was meant to be.
My solo exhibition at Holland Area Arts Council, “Timeless Structures: memories built with light,” begins Nov. 17, 2016, and will be on display through the middle of January. I would love to greet you at the Opening Reception on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 6:00-8:00 pm.
There will be 14 of my works…in various sizes…city, rural, and lakeshore…all with the theme of structures.
The 12″ x 12″ Farm Studies (below) will be among them, as well as a not-yet-posted 48″ x 48″ farm painting that resulted from these studies.
Farm Study #1, 12″x12″
Farm Study #2, 12″x12″
Farm Study #3, 12″x12″
Farm Study #4, 12″x12″
I hope you can attend the Opening. I would love to see old friends and make new ones!
For more information from Holland Area Arts Council, click here.
Karin Nelson, an award winning and nationally published artist from Grand Rapids, MI, is best known for her structures: city buildings, rustic barns … any manmade form with flat planes to reflect the sun. With the aid of large palette knives and cheap bristle brushes, she expresses her subjects with masculine lines and strong marks. And yet her paintings strike a warm, welcoming chord with her viewers, transporting them to memories from their past. She accomplishes this by representing the lighting conditions in her scenes with a realistic color palette, even though the subjects are slightly abstracted.
Karin explains, “I believe the strongest triggers to visual memory are related to light, and the endless combinations that make up its nuances. When I am successful in expressing the delicate, mysterious quality of light in the scene, there is a good chance that others have witnessed that same sight, and are brought to a place of memory. And that’s when the connection occurs between myself and the viewer.”
This is an interpretation of a photo my cousin-in-law took of a hotel on the beach of St. Augustine, FL, just after Hurricane Matthew came through.
It originally caught my attention because of its appealing colors and composition. But as I painted it, I kept pondering the significance of a beautiful piece of architecture which, although littered with the rubble of a tremendous storm, and doors and windows boarded over, still shines through with its beauty of form.
Of course, the spiritual analogy couldn’t escape me. Even when we are walking through the most difficult trial of our lives, with God’s grace, we can weather the storm with strength and dignity of spirit, not to mention His promised peace.
Painting Shadows and Evoking Emotion is the name of the online article written about my painting, (above) for the Artists Network.
Following is an excerpt; please check out this link to read the rest of the article.
“By keeping the details down to a minimum, my strokes, displayed with emotion, raw energy, and borne out of my deep connection to the scene, can then have the ability to touch a different emotional chord in each viewer.”
My thanks to Jennifer Smith, Managing Editor, who was also the one to interview me for the full feature in the Fall 2016 issue of Acrylic Artist Magazine.
I’m very honored to announce that I have a full feature article in the Fall issue of the Acrylic Artist Magazine. And to add to the excitement, one of my paintings made the cover. As you can imagine, I’m still on cloud nine about all of this!
It was very enjoyable and eye-opening to hear my interviewer’s perspective on my art, including the title of the article, “Shadow Lover.” Jennifer Smith, Managing Editor of the magazine, was a pure joy to work with! We ended up going with a Q&A format. If you’d like to order this issue of the magazine, you can use this link for either a downloadable copy, or to have the magazine mailed to you.
The article helps explain Jennifer’s choice of “Shadow Lover” to describe me/my paintings. One of the components, to give you a clue, is that I’m allergic to the sun, which gives me an appreciation for shade, above and beyond what most people probably experience. So when I paint that luscious edge between the shaded and sunlit sides of a building or structure, I’m actually quite attracted to, and comforted by, the shaded side. At one of the recent receptions at LaFontsee Galleries (where I’m represented), a fellow artist expressed to me her appreciation for the proportion of shade to sun I used on “Little Shed on the Prairie” (shown below). As an instructor at a local art institute, she tries to get that concept through to her students: that it’s not all about the bright colors. The contrasting presence of the shade is what makes the light look so good!
Watch my future blog posts for notice about a two-part online article Jennifer Smith is publishing regarding my style of painting, and some tips from me, including how to overcome one of the greatest challenges of acrylic: its fast-drying quality.
Also, I will soon be posting a new page on this website, just for the purpose of discussing some of the tricks I’ve learned in my experience with acrylic. If you’re an artist who is new to acrylics, I think you’ll discover some great information.
Visitors to Leland, Michigan are familiar with this site. The historic shanties, docks and buildings in this remarkable setting are still in operation. My favorite shop is the Village Cheese Shanty. I cannot possibly visit Leland without stopping in. The sandwiches are definitely big enough to share, but this is one place where that does NOT happen! We always need to get two, so we can try more than one kind. My favorite is the sandwich made famous because well-known chef Mario Batali likes it: I think it’s called Lake Effect. You MUST try it if you’re ever up that way! And get the pretzel bun. The place is just a little hole-in-the-wall building, and priced so reasonably, but don’t let that fool you! OK, this is one of those posts where I forget that I’m blogging about art, not food! I fell into that trap last fall when I posted my eclair adventure while on a photo expedition.
I hope you can feel the kind of hot sun that makes your eyes squint as you view this painting. And I hope that the rest of your summer brings many opportunities to enjoy the beautiful outdoors!