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Oil Painting

Grandpa Donn's Roses
I started this oil painting in the summer after getting an idea to transform a painting I had stored away for a long time. It was an unfinished painting by my fiance's grandfather that I wanted to preserve. It was off the stretchers and slowly falling apart. He loved roses and I'm grateful to have beautiful flowers from one of his rose bushes every year. The background is of his painting that I weaved together and stretched over 3 boards. It formed a trellis-like texture for me to paint the roses and pollinating bees on. The frame loudly repeats the nature inspired theme with real tree bark assembled like a puzzle. Again, I was experimenting with texture and color.

I really enjoyed working on this piece, especially while remembering summer as I was finishing it up in December. :P

Grandpa Donn's Roses is on display (as well as my students' and colleague's artwork) at the Rochester-Finger Lakes Regional Exhibition at RIT's Bevier Gallery from January 30 - February 25, 2009. Reception is Friday January 30 from 5-7pm.
Topic(s): oil painting 2008 exhibit
By Heather on January 28, 2009 at 9:20am EST Add/View Comments (3)

I did this small oil painting (about 16x12 I think :P) of Alicia, my fiance's cousin's cute little girl, over my 2008 winter break. I experimented with the canvas by painting on an antique looking floral fabric that I thought suited her sweetness. I loved playing with color and tried not to over think anything. My goal is to start doing more experimental studies like this.

For fun, I used this for a family Santa Swap and remarkably her parents went first and picked this gift. No stealing needed!
Topic(s): oil painting 2008 portrait
By Heather on January 25, 2009 at 4:08pm EST Add/View Comments (2)

Drake and Rascal
This was a wedding gift to some good friends. It is of their rambunctious dogs that they love very much. I had a lot of fun painting their unique features, especially Drakes droopy eyes and flops of skin (foreground). I made the time of year in the painting early fall, just like their wedding. My only complaint is that I wish I would have pushed the fall colors a little more, especially after the beautiful drive through Pennsylvania on the way there. I think I was in denial of fall.

But what a perfect fall day for a wedding, no denying that!

Oil on 48x24 canvas
October 2008
Topic(s): oil painting 2008
By Heather on November 5, 2008 at 11:38am EST Add/View Comments (3)

New Meaning from Local Yums
What's for breakfast?

What's for lunch?

What's for dinner?

I love good food! Who doesn't? Pale and I just went to the Rochester Public Market and bought some beautiful local produce. We bought organic green beans from a little boy so cute that it just made the whole trip more meaningful. It felt strange at first, throwing cash and coins in every direction, but now we have blueberry, raspberry, and HUGE blackberry gems in my fridge and golden apricots, tiny tart yellow plums, and juicy tomatoes on the counter. We are definitely going back!

I just finished Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall and I can't seem to get her "eat local" and "do you best to take care of this earth" messages out of my head. We also recycled computers and other junk at the Seneca Park Zoo rally in Rochester this weekend. It's part of my nature to reuse or maybe it's because I'm frugal, but I see art in trash sometimes. These pans were destined for the garbage but remade into soul-searching art.

That's why I'm posting these pieces. I looked at them yesterday and smiled. They mean something totally different to me now than when I made them in 2004, which had somewhat of a negative subject. The titles were supposed to act as a nag because sometimes ones ego can suck all the fun out of food, something my family still struggles with while juggling hectic lives. But food can be fun if you can let go of your expectations and really savor simple flavors.

I look at these differently now and they proudly hang in my kitchen, reminding to have fun! I giggle at the surrealism because it's less serious now. I know now if I mess up and make something dreadful... it's ok, no need to go coo coo! Furthermore, I don't always have the time to paint but I can get my creative fix by cooking.
Topic(s): oil painting recycled food 2004
By Heather on August 10, 2008 at 4:59pm EDT Add Comment

The Choice Between
The Choice Between is a diptych that parallels human choices and the consequences of them. In 2003, I created a somewhat abstract juxtaposition of sickness and health in oil paint. It's about having a choice and the fact that options are presented to us daily. I used microscopic images of tarred lungs and blood cells as inspiration. I find this painting to be a reality because it's not always easy to make the right decision when society provides so many unhealthy and deceptive choices. This duality can extend itself to so many facets of life.
Topic(s): oil painting painting 2003 diptych
By Heather on February 5, 2008 at 11:36am EST Add/View Comments (4)

I went to Allegany State Park for a family camping trip last October, 2007. The landscape and the rocks are so beautiful there that I decided to do a small study (9x12) in oil on canvas board. Climbing those rocks gives me the feeling of being a kid again on some wonderful adventure.

I also did this painting with a special someone in mind who works so hard organizing these great retreats!
Topic(s): landscape painting oil painting 2007
By Heather on January 29, 2008 at 10:15am EST Add/View Comments (3)

Wedding Gift
This oil painting was a wedding gift to wonderful friends during the Summer of 2004. It was actually the first self-guided painting I did after college. I love that it's a diptych (relationship of two-get it :P) showing the life of leopards - night/day - on one canvas. They love animals, so I felt very comfortable with the subject. I actually learned a lot about the pattern of leopard spots! I also have great memories of working outside on this, not in Africa silly, using photos for references and of course my imagination to put them together in an interesting composition. I decided on the time of day for each and the little details, such as the moon and the moth.

I don't really have a title for this. I mean I could come up with something but everything sounds dorky, so maybe the owners can decide on one. I do know that this painting makes me feel warm on this cold January day, thinking of the sub-Sahara and wonderful friends now family!
Topic(s): painting oil painting 2004
By Heather on January 23, 2008 at 8:22am EST Add/View Comments (6)

This oil painting on burlap was completed in March 2004. As in most of my work, it's about exploring connections to nature. This painting is about providing survival, though shelter and nourishment. These 'simple' needs can be dissected in so many ways.

Burlap was a great textural ground to paint on. There are actual small holes in this painting that contributes to the meaning. Writing this, reminds me how enjoyable it was to experiment on this unusual ground. It's one my goals to do a series on burlap.

Topic(s): oil painting burlap 2004
By Heather on January 22, 2008 at 9:40am EST Add/View Comments (6)

Summer Still Life
This Oil painting was completed in August 2007. I love to experiment with color and texture. These elements are always constant in my work. It's what I find appealing, so I keep exploring it in unusual ways.

This canvas is actually a recycled painting that my lovely Grandma picked up for me. It had an awful, somewhat abstract painting of flowers as the subject. Therefore, I had no anguish painting over it. I loved the existing texture similar to plaster, so I toned the background with a muted aqua and painted this still life. I like that this piece has had a previous life and is now reincarnated (hopefully its last). I think the texture lends itself well to the texture of the vegetables, especially the avocado halves. I also did this painting quite quickly relative to others. I wanted it to have a spontaneous feel, which is something I always need practice doing.

Please click on the picture to see the whole thing. :)
Topic(s): oil painting painting still life 2007
By Heather on January 15, 2008 at 10:17am EST Add/View Comments (2)

A Garden to Tend
I started this series in fall 2004 and finished, finally, during the summer of 2007. Nature is a big inspiration to me and the subject of "A Garden to Tend" started with planting, watching, weeding, watering, and photographing, different plants. Gardening is full of successes and heartache and the 'gardening' continued with this series for quite some time.

I also think of this piece as an evolution of art. It started with transforming my digital photos of my garden to a Photoshop rendered collage, then creating a painting from that, followed by scanning the painting to manipulate into the third panel, and finally painted on top of the third for a combo of computer-generated art/painting to make the last. Sounds complicated, but essentially I just kept transforming the same image with slight variations using either the computer or oil paint. Located in my dinning room, it's a wonderful way to enjoy my garden during the winter months, especially since it no longer taunts me unfinished in my studio. I'm enjoying it because it still feels like a harvest from a long gone garden.
Topic(s): 2007 gardens oil painting painting computer art photoshop
By Heather on January 14, 2008 at 1:19pm EST Add/View Comments (4)
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