From small to big to small. . .

Feeding the Gulls  .  24 x 30  .  oil on linen canvas

This one is hot off the easel.  A universal scene you could say -  one that's especially familiar to city dwellers who count on visiting wonderful parks and lakes for their sanity and much-needed dose of nature.  I live close to Wake Forest University and I love to see the college kids stretched out on the grounds of Reynolda Village soaking up the first warmth of the season, the first promise of a summer ahead. 

Multi-tasking is the norm for this time of year, isn't it?  April tax time involves digging into records and taking an overview of paper work that seems endless.  Then spring just naturally invites us to clean out our files, our closets, our computers, our junk drawers, and it's as powerful as the impulse to pull out old recipes close to Thanksgiving.  Spring is about renewal in so many ways.  

With that in mind, I recently added "Available Paintings" to my portrait site.  These are paintings ranging from large, framed watercolors to oils as small as 6" x 8"!  Still life to landscapes to figurative, etc.  Soup to nuts.  When not painting a commission I try to mix it up a bit, go out on a limb and do something completely the opposite of what I've been doing, but paintings won't get seen sitting here in the studio!  So if you have the time or inclination, please visit my site, Feel free to share (the buttons are all there) and I always appreciate feedback/hearing from you.

St. Petersburg View from the Peter and Paul Fortress
14 x 11  .  oil on linen covered panel

This was done privately as a birthday surprise for a couple who have enjoyed visiting the unique and stunning city of St. Petersburg, Russia.  I spent hours of research trying to determine what exactly is displayed on the top of all these buildings - not so much as to replicate it, but just to give an idea of, a brushstroke flavor of, on this smallish support!  SO much history here and I came away from the painting with some kind of melancholy longing - for what I do not know. 

The Space Between (Italian Pottery)  .  24" x 30" x 1.5"
oil on canvas

Meanwhile, The Space Between made its way to Alabama to reside in a dining room - oh, if walls could talk!  I couldn't be happier about its new home and adore the new owners.  Happiness all around.  Shipping canvas often is a nail biting affair, as I've actually seen holes punched straight through heavy packing and a canvas! No, not one of mine, and fortunately it was repaired by a professional restorer - but it does make your heart pound and head spin when you see such damage.

I'm now working on an 8" x 8" commission, so you see. . .big, small, big, small. . .and everything in between!  Having recently lost an acquaintance, a creative peer, to the ravages of cancer and treatment, I've been reflecting a lot on the work I've been creating.  The ups and downs of painting, especially the work you don't see (varnishing, framing, paperwork, inventories, maintaining supplies, shipping, meltdowns in front of the easel, studying) along with often selling yourself (and no, don't go there - I'm talking marketing!) well, it's enough to question the sheer idea of sustainability.  Yet, life is short, I tell myself, so paint on and be grateful for every up, down, around and in between.  Then pray that you can hold on.    

The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary.
~ May V. Smith



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