Artist have used wood as a painting surface sense the beginning of time but modern artists are giving it a whole new look. I am so fascinated by the work of Alison Moritsugu and Meni Chatzipanagiotou. Moritsugu is a Hawaiian artist who is known for her detailed traditional style on unique wood rounds. I love her installation named “Wilderness” pictured above and below.
Meni Chatzipanagiotou is an artist from Greece who does beautiful wood cut style art on wooden rounds. Her work was a surrealist feel combined with a traditional style. I love these two pieces pictured below.
For my latest painting I used a birch wood round gathered from the home of this adorable baby girl. I’m excited that the surface will have significance to the family as well as the painting. This one of my first times painting on wood and I learned a lot through the process. The wooden round was already well sanded and smooth. I sketched out the silhouette of my subject and then filled it in with white acrylic primer. I then painted the portrait with oils and oiled the wood once I was finished. This process worked OK but I think a clear acrylic sealer or primer would have worked better for a portrait.
It’s so important to discover beauty in your surroundings particularly in difficult times. After living in the south for three years, I had almost forgotten how hard winter can be. Persistent sickness, below zero temperatures, and long dark evenings didn’t make it any easier. But, whenever I would start to wonder why we ever moved to such a cold place, all I had to do was step outside. The Bob Marshal Wilderness is in our back yard, and I was struck be the amazing beauty of these snow covered mountains time after time.
The birds have returned to the valley and the snow is starting to melt. It was so nice today we even went for a walk. Spring is wonderful, but the mountains are never so beautiful as when they are covered in snow. This painting is the first in a series of winter paintings I will complete this summer. I’m enjoying the limited pallet and simple beauty of these snowy mountains.
If you love mountains, you will be blown away by Glacier Park. I’ve visited the park several times over my years of living in Montana but it still never ceases to amaze me. We had taken my reference photo at one of the look outs on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This highway was completed in 1932 and they must have made cars smaller back then because passing cars on the way up now is just plain scary. The views, however, are well worth being that close to a sheer cliff.
I wanted to capture the grandeur and sheer immensity of the peaks in my latest painting. For this reason, I chose a two by three foot board as my painting surface. I began my painting in acrylic to get some color on the white board. I then used the same painting process as I did with my painting from the top of Mt. Henry. This painting took quite a bit longer because of it’s size and the detail…lots and lots of detail. I’ll confess, I’m not even quite done with all the detail in the foreground but I was painting at my parents and didn’t want to transport a wet painting back in our car.
I can’t wait to take some pictures of Glacier Park in the winter and do a couple of paintings from them. Snowy mountains are even more spectacular then ones covered with fall colors.
About a year and a half ago, I got inspired to do a series of portraits that portrayed the seasons. Three of my friends really reminded me of different seasons both in personality and face tone, so, I asked them to model for me. I borrowed a Nikon camera and did a photo shoot with each one of them to get some good reference photos. I first completed “Fall” and afterward hurried to complete “Spring” for an art show I had last year. We moved twice after that, one time all the way from South Carolina to Montana, so, needless to say I was a bit too busy to finish the last two paintings. My “Winter” painting was the only one I could finish at the moment, because I still haven’t found the perfect model for my “Summer” painting.
To complete this painting, I used two reference photos and combined them in a drawing. By sketching the portrait first, I was able to get the correct proportions for my painting surface. I then drew the portrait out on my board and started painting. I used cooler shades for both the background and the face tones to represent the winter theme. I ran into a couple rough spots, but in the end, it was just great to finish a painting that had been so long on my mind.
A couple of weeks ago we took a hike up Mt. Henry. There is nothing but rocks covered with lichen and weathered wood near the top. I took a picture of this old stump and was inspired by texture of the twisted wood. The snow, ice, and wind had shaped the tree making it into something rugged and original.
Although I loved the textures in this picture, they were quite the challenge to paint. I almost gave up on this landscape once I got to the detail. From now on I think I’ll avoid bark and rocks.
Here is the beginning stage of my painting. I sketched the main shapes and colors with a paintbrush and some acrylic paint.
Next I blocked in the colors and finished most of the background with oil paint.
After this stage, I focused on the shadows and highlights on the wood and rocks. Let me know what you think of my painting and my painting process.