The Landscape Around Me.
The landscape of Western Pennsylvania is a constant inspiration to me. Many of these works were done "en plein air", although trying to catch the right place at the right time with weather conditions and daily work can be a real trick, so a fair number were done from photographs.
I work most often in pastel, especially in the field, although I occasionally work in watercolor from photographs. In addition, I work in pencil and charcoal, working in extreme detail when at home with photographs, and just doing quick "daily sketches".
For art inspired by winter, visit "Winter White", my virtual show featuring small field sketches of winter views.
Click on any image to see an enlarged version.
Art of the Watershed
A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed
This series includes the three paintings below: Dusk in the Woods, Morning on the Creek and Autumn in the Valley. Visit "Art of the Watershed" to read about the collection.
Autumn in the Valley
Pastel; SIZE: 32 " x 28"; 2009, $2,500.00 matted and framed, prints and other items available
Sloping hills blazing with autumn color at a rocky, rippled bend in Chartiers Creek, yet on the horizon deep gray-purple clouds hover; although the day was sunny I remember it being distinctly chilly, with a sharpness to the breeze, especially on the water in a canoe. For two reasons the scene was reminiscent and inspiring: first, that I rounded the bend to see this natural splendor in all its detail, brilliant color, fluttering leaves, rippling water, changing clouds, happening all on its own with no help from me or any other human, and, second, it was an example of that "change of season" with the gray-purple clouds of winter arriving on the horizon.
This is the third piece in the "Art of the Watershed" series, featuring images of waterways and landscapes in the Lower Chartiers Watershed in each of the four seasons. Visit my Art of the Watershed page for more information about this piece and about the series.
Morning on the Creek
Pastel; SIZE: 22" x 29"; 2008, $1,500.00 matted and framed, prints and other items available
A placid morning canoe trip on Chartiers Creek as the sun spills over the top of the hill, and a goose and goslings head upstream. Of course, I couldn't paint this while paddling, but I kept it in mind for later. I actually did a small study of the top section several years before, and still have that, below.
Honorable Mention in the Stifel Fine Arts Center's Crosscurrents 2008.
This is the second piece in the "Art of the Watershed" series, featuring images of waterways and landscapes in the Lower Chartiers Watershed in each of the four seasons. Visit my Art of the Watershed page for more information about this piece and about the series.
Dusk in the Woods
Pastel; SIZE: 31" x 24"; 2006, sold, prints and other items available
That "blue time of day"…a quick walk in the woods after a heavy snowfall as the sun set on the distant horizon, bare trees like sentinels. This time of day always carries a certain melancholy for me, as if a deep instinctive part of me realizes the sun is about to leave and may not come back. The moment stands in all its silent beauty along Robinson Run in Collier Township, on a trail running parallel to the Panhandle Trail.
This is the first piece in the "Art of the Watershed" series, featuring images of waterways and landscapes in the Lower Chartiers Watershed in each of the four seasons. Visit my Art of the Watershed page for more information about this piece and about the series.
Oil Pastel, "24.5" x 18", 1998, sold, prints and other materials available
From the time I met the paper birch in our front yard I have always been attracted to the delicately detailed white bark of birch trees which seemed to emit its own faint light in any season. Here, in the darkness of the woods, the grouping of white trunks looks like a crowd clustered for discussion.
Ink and Watercolor, 22" x 23", 2000, sold, prints and other materials available
We have a few birch groves here in Western Pennsylvania, and this image was reminiscent of one I had encountered while hiking somewhere near me. Not just the white bark, but the contrast with the thin dark twigs and ripples in the bark, is eye-catching, but that autumn display of yellow leaves is nearly blinding. Add a few other leaves to the mix and it becomes a classic autumn scene.
Ink and Watercolor; SIZE: 18" x 12"; 2008, sold, prints and other materials available
MEDIUM: Pastel; IMAGE SIZE: 17" x 8.5"; 1999, $400.00 matted and framed
Drawn en plein air in a spot near North East, PA, on Lake Erie, this had once been a campsite, but the lakeside cottages were boarded up and much of the place was overgrown. Still, the peaceful spot with only the sounds of rustling leaves, waves and shorebirds was entrancing.
MEDIUM: Pastel; IMAGE SIZE: 14" x 20"; 2006, $400.00 matted and framed
The backyard of an old farmhouse near me, I was drawn at first by the forsythia, which was right on the edge of the road as I drove past, then I saw the colorful hanging laundry, always a favorite subject as I slowed down. That hazy spring sunlight with long shadows on the grass, young leaves on the trees and the white-sided house all combined in a scene that could have been any year in the previous century.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2003, $250 matted and framed, prints available
The moment when the sun stands still, as it seemed to at this frigid, snow-covered winter dusk, spruces standing dignified sentinel to the moment of transition. (This is another of those beautiful places that isn't there any more.)
MEDIUM: Pastel; IMAGE SIZE: 8" x 8"; 1998, $350.00 matted and framed, $600.00 both
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. These two scenes are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows. See Morning Snow II.
I've got way too many landscapes to write a narrative about each of them, but I hate to leave them out. Most are fairly small, 10" x 12" or less because they are field sketches done en plein air. Some are sold but some originals are still available matted and framed, read the footnotes in the enlarged image. Even if the piece is sold, I have prints and notecards of nearly every one. Prices vary for prints according to size, please contact me if you are interested and don't see the information you need.
I like snow, too. For more of the art of winter, see "Winter White".
I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day, so I carry a small pouch of art materials and a 5" x 8" hardbound sketchbook with me. Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using these and other images; see my notecards page. Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I'm designing.