October 8, 2017

Summer With Georges Bête 2017

Georges Bête and I had a wonderful and adventurous summer! We went on nature walks all over NYS, ate at interesting restaurants and swam a lot.

In the depths of nature.

Georges is very patient about me asking him to pose for pictures. He is also an artist, so he understands, completely. 

We found a room for him in a tree stump. 

This is NYS! I felt like we were in the forests of Endor!

We decided to "hike" from the northern end of Central Park, NYC to the southern end. Neither of us had ever done that before. In the North Woods, we found this rock carving! Georges wanted his picture taken next to this renegade, public art.

We saw many famous parts of the park that we'd known of through children's books and paintings, but had never visited. Here is the pond with remote controlled sail boats. Nearby is the sculpture of Hans Christian Anderson. 

Beautiful and delicate public art that had obviously been repaired many times. 

Then on another spontaneous trip, we stumbled upon an unusual restaurant. It was called The Toadstool Inn. 

At our table. 

Georges especially liked the place because they had the same bowl that he, himself was gifted by Laura Bortman this summer. 

Great meal!

Off again, to Shaupeneak Ridge

For swimming!

Thank you, Summer 2017!

En Plein Air Spring 2017

In late spring 2017, I took a vacation specifically to spend time around waterfalls to study how water moves. I started working with oil paint, but I ended with pencil drawings.

This was painted at Skaneateles, NY, and is of a stream. The reflection on the water from the overhead trees was so green, that it looks like a carpet rather than moving water. 

Skaneateles, NY

A closer look.

This was painted in the Catskill Mountains. What a thing to drag all the necessary items for oil painting through the woods while climbing over rocks in the streams! 

Catskill State Park. I spent a long time at this spot. It was chilly, with a steady wind flowing over the cool water. 

Catskill State Park

Devil's Tombstone Campground, NY

Painting and drawing outdoors is a joy. I find that it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the detail in nature. So, I have to remind myself to just start and keep at it and resist impatience. 

Frog Sculpture

This sculpture is called, Honor to the Frog.

Many years ago, I had been a member of the 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY. At that time, I enjoyed using the ceramic studio and that was when I'd made this frog head. I happened upon a wonderful glaze that was brown with mottled blue / green spots. I thought that would be perfect for a frog. Gratefully another artist was in the ceramic studio at that time. She told me to apply the gaze heavily in order to get that effect. I would not have known! So, the chin and underneath is a light glaze while the rest was applied thickly. 

It had always been my intention to put in glass frog eyes, and I'd recently taken a porcelain doll making workshop where we learned how to affix eyes into doll heads. Unfortunately, there had been a slight bump in the ceramic frog, which kept the glass eye from sitting in the socket correctly. I very nervously used an electric sander to smooth it down. I was afraid that it would break the piece!

The oil painting on the base illustrates the transformation of tadpole to mature frog.

The base and feet are made of wood, and the underside is covered with copper foil. The foil will change color over the years, which somehow seems very frog like.

Size: 6'' x 3'' x 5.5''