Tag Archives: trees

Colorways #2

Banks of the Congaree #2 12x12 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2016 Lucinda Howe

Banks of the Congaree #2
12×12 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2016 Lucinda Howe

Last week I talked about changing the colorway of a design to change the mood. In this second painting of trees along the Congaree River, I changed the colors from cool blues and greens to yellow and blue-purple. I darkened the shadows under the trees to increase the contrast and suggest the golden light of late afternoon.

When I incorporate familiar shapes with personal color choices, I’m inviting the viewer to see common things in a different light.

Banks of the Congaree #2 will be on display in my exhibition ABIDING TREES at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community in West Columbia, SC, opening October 3rd. Click here for more details and a short video preview.

Posted in Color Theory

Cottonwood Calm

Cottonwood Calm 14x11 inches Acrylic ©2008 Lucinda Howe $325

Cottonwood Calm
14×11 inches
©2008 Lucinda Howe

Bright yellow cottonwood trees light up the Rio Grand valley between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico in the autumn. This painting reminds me of several trips to that area to paint with friends. I remember a lovely relaxing lunch under these trees near Embudo. The sunny colors in this painting make me happy and hopeful that I can go back to New Mexico again some day.

This week I’ve been reviewing my inventory of paintings and selecting work for an exhibition at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community opening in October. I think it’s a useful exercise to look back through several years of painting and try to identify threads of continuity. Perhaps because I’ve been writing about trees recently, I realized that trees are a common theme in my work. Wherever my plein air excursions take me, I’m often attracted by a tree line or a backlit silhouette. The shapes evoke specific places in my memory. With this in mind, I have titled my exhibition Abiding Trees. I’ll be writing more about the exhibition in the next few weeks. I hope you will plan to stop by Still Hopes and see it between October 3 and November 29, 2016.

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged |

What is it about Trees?

James Island Path 5x7 inches Oil on oil primed linen panel ©2016 Lucinda Howe

James Island Path
5×7 inches
Oil on oil primed linen panel
©2016 Lucinda Howe
$125     Buy with PayPal

Trees.  So much a part of the landscape. Today I’ve been working on selecting paintings for an exhibit, and I was amazed at how many paintings of trees I have. Sometimes I go out to paint with the plein air group, and they all want to paint a home or barn.  But I often focus on the tree in front of the porch or the old oak in the yard.  The trees seem to be more enduring than the architecture.  Also, I’m attracted by light coming from behind the trees, drawing me in to see what is around the bend as in this path on James Island.

Posted in Oil Painting Also tagged |

End of Day

End of Day 16x20 inches Paper collage and acrylic paint on cradled masonite panel ©2016 Lucinda Howe $800

End of Day
16×20 inches
Paper collage and acrylic paint on cradled masonite panel
©2016 Lucinda Howe

Slanted golden light
torches the leaves of summer,
new learning begins

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged |

Laurel Fantasy

Laurel Fantasy 12x12 inches Acrylic mixed media on illustration board ©2016 Lucinda Howe $295

Laurel Fantasy
12×12 inches
Acrylic mixed media on illustration board
©2016 Lucinda Howe

Buy with PayPal
I wanted to do a residency because it’s my art fantasy life to focus on an art project, walk and sleep whenever I want, and have someone feed me three times a day.

When I arrived at Wildacres in the North Carolina mountains on a Monday afternoon, it was a beautiful sunny day, much cooler than the 100-degree temperatures I had left behind in South Carolina. However, I heard the distant rumble of thunder and saw storm clouds moving in. Paul, at the front desk, gave me a key and map to Laurel cabin almost a mile down the gravel road from the main buildings. I had been to Wildacres several times for workshops, but had not seen the two new residency cabins.

As I opened the door to the cabin, the wind picked up and the thunder rumbled. It was a pleasant surprise to find a spacious high-ceilinged room paneled in knotty pine. Big windows on three sides opened to views of the woods. There was a bed, a rocking chair with a reading light, a big desk, and a standing-height studio table on wheels. On the other side of the room were the ADA-compliant kitchen and bathroom. The best part was the screen porch surrounded by green woods. I hurried to unload my gear and art supplies. For a moment I envied the writers who only need a laptop. Just as I finished unloading, the rain came down in torrents.

Laurel Cabin Bed Wildacres

Laurel Cabin Bed, Wildacres

As I unpacked, I observed that the rain was not blowing in on the porch, so I set up my studio out there. I put down a dropcloth, set up a folding table, and prepared to get messy.

My temporary studio on the screen porch at Wildacres

My temporary studio on the screen porch at Wildacres

During the week, I concentrated on two things: learning a new art technique and absorbing a sense of the environment. Along with looking for signature details like walls and plants, I enjoyed the lush surroundings of my porch studio. I wasn’t looking at the landscape and painting it directly as I might at a plein air event. Instead, I was steeping in the humid forest. As I worked, I heard sounds of insects and birds. The rains came and went. Occasionally I heard a few notes of music from the neighboring cabin where a harpist was in residence.

The weather pattern the rest of the week was sunny days with afternoon thunderstorms. As I worked with my Gelli printing process, I covered all the horizontal surfaces in the cabin with drying prints.

Laurel Cabin kitchen at Wildacres with drying prints

Laurel Cabin kitchen at Wildacres with drying prints

Toward the end of the week, I started trying to make sense how to use the stacks of prints. I made Laurel Fantasy (at the top of the post)  by combining a Gelli print with a black and white underpainting on illustration board.  My inspiration was the lush forest that surrounded me… light through the tops of the trees, the twisted laurel thicket in the lower story, and dappled shade on the ground. The humid atmosphere suggests the sense of growth and possibility that I brought home with me from my week at Wildacres.

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged , , |

Ancient Oak

Ancient Oak  11x14"  Oil on masonite ©2015 Lucinda Howe $425 www.lucindahowe.com

Ancient Oak
Oil on masonite
©2015 Lucinda Howe

One of the best things about plain air painting with a group is the opportunity to experience areas I may not have known about or visited on my own.  This ancient live oak tree is at Dunham Farms in Coastal Georgia where our painting group was invited by a friend of a friend.  These trees may be 300-500 years old and were prized for ship building in the days before iron hulls. Now they are iconic symbols of the southern landscape.

This colors in this painting emphasize the evergreen nature of the live oak in contrast to the purple in the massive trunk.  I used a horizontal format because these trees are more broad than tall.

I enjoy painting these old trees because they are so strong and enduring.  They remind me that nature connects us to past and future generations.

Posted in Oil Painting Also tagged |

Seeing the Forest

Pecan Grove, Camp Limberlost, Sunny Side, Tree and Lake Each 12x9", Oil on board Each $125 on Daily Paintworks

Pecan Grove, Camp Limberlost, Sunny Side, Tree and Lake
Each 12×9″, Oil on board
Each $125 on Daily Paintworks

Over the years, I have learned that there are cycles in my creative life.  Inspiration comes easily in April and October when the weather is beautiful and the landscape bursts with color.  But the summer is a low point for me.  The hot muggy weather is draining, my day job is demanding, the landscape is mostly green.  The garden is overrun with weeds, but I don’t have energy to go outside.  Bah Humbug!   But I keep reminding myself that there is nothing wrong with me that October won’t cure.

While I sit on the couch drinking iced tea, I review my recent paintings  and look for ways to expand my body of work when I have more energy.  One theme that popped out from my plein air pieces is trees.   Not just any trees.  I’m taken with the personality of a particular tree.  Often the background has distant hills or a small structure in a supporting role.  I find that sunny days with strong shadows make me happy and encourage me to exaggerate color.   I will paint on cloudy days, but I fell more limited to local color.  I don’t include many details of the context in order to focus on the beauty and character of the trees.

At this point, I’m not sure where this process will take me.  I’ll add other pieces to the mix and identify connections to the subject matter or style of these pieces.  I hope that eventually I’ll be able to see the forest.

If you would like some of these trees to live at your house, the paintings are available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

Posted in Oil Painting, Plein Air

Spirit of the Trees

Spirit of the Trees 30x40" Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2014 Lucinda Hoe

Spirit of the Trees
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2014 Lucinda Howe

The roads to the South Carolina beaches are lined with old trees dripping with Spanish moss.  This painting was inspired by a lane near Edisto Beach.  When I started this piece, my intention was to paint over an abstract piece that never worked very well, but to leave some of the under painting showing.

The painting below was the original.   I covered most of it with new paint, but it would not have had the same effect if I had started with a white canvas.   Can you see any hints of the old piece under the new one?

Incendiary 30x40" Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2012 Lucinda Howe

Incendiary (now painted over)
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2012 Lucinda Howe

Posted in Acrylics