To create these "Ichibana" Raku vases my goal was to evoke a sense of birch bark not build a "fool the eye" representation of a birch tree. I pressed thin slabs of clay onto and around a birch log I collected from a downed tree. I pressed the clay carefully around sawed branches and other imperfections. I reversed the slab, pushing out the branch parts and slapped them around a cylinder. I did not want to disguise the fact that they were clay slabs so I left edges and torn ends. After bisque firing I used a liquid wax to paint anything I wanted black. That would be the branch parts and the little specks that are on natural birchbark. Glaze will not adhere to wax and those areas would turn black with smoke. I glazed the outside in a white crackle and the inside with a copper glaze. After the reduction firing I got copper flashing along some edges, and coppery greens on the inside. It has an "abstract expressionist" sense of a realistic artifact. Walking through the woods in the Adirondacks you see downed birches everywhere. The bark looks like this, torn, imperfect, ragged and beautiful. The vases are from12 to 14in. tall
Monday, December 17, 2012
That's me on the left. In order to know when to pull the pots out of the kiln you actually have to look inside to see how the glaze is settling.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Today was unseasonably warm. In otherwords, a beautiful late fall day. I was working on the previous painting in my studio and I thought "I gotta get outside. This might be the last nice day of the fall" So I got my Plein Air kit and went hiking with Maggie the dog up the Little Gunpowder River. If you park on the Balt.Co. side ,just over the bridge and hike upstream for about 15 minutes and turn left when you cross a stream there is this terrific waterfall. Actually it's the lower half of a larger cascade. Even though painting a waterfall is terribly cliche, I find it incredibly restful and stimulating( if one can experience both at the same time) being streamside and trying to capture moving water. What a great day. 10x10in oil on board.
I was walking in Annapolis one afternoon near West St. and came upon this scene that reminded me so much of a Sisely painting that I thought I would attempt it in similar impressionist style. The day was slightly overcast so I put a lot of very pale complimentary pinks and blues in the sky. 11x15 pastel
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
I have painted this house many times because of the way the morning and evening sun hits it. It has become such a wonderful study in light and shadow and summarizing the landscape. I take away as much as I can, for instance, no lines for clapboards. It's a small painting that I do with a big brush (#4 or #6). 10x10in oil on board. SOLD
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Saw this old VW bus at the Hostel in Keene Valley. All week you would find it at different trailheads. These guys were all over the place. It was a bit of a rust bucket but well loved and you could tell well traveled. I used to have one myself in the 70's. I painted Noonmark behind it as if it was down on Marcy Field. This fits into my "icon" series. 9x12in oil on panel SOLD
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
I've painted Chapel pond many times in oils, it's my spiritual home in the Adirondacks, but never in pastel. Pastels really lend themselves to getting that seamless color of water that you can only get with glazing in oils. Right here the sun has just topped Giant Mt and has begun its passage down the sides of the mt. I am experimenting with about a half a dozen blues, layering them, blending with fingers, brushing out with a stiff brush and scumbling. Still some more to be done. I enjoy getting lost in the process. 14x13 3/4 pastel on sanded paper. SOLD
Monday, May 21, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
In 1923 my grandfather bought a small cottage on the Severn River abput 12 miles north of Annapolis in a Summer community called Sherwood Forest. The house was sold in the '70's and remodeled and re configured extensively. My sister and brother-in-law were able to buy it back and now the family is back on Thorsby Hill again. I did this plein air piece on a painting excursion with Bear Miller on a brisk, windy day in early spring (Easter monday,to be exact) The trees were just starting to leaf and they were this electric green that only comes in the spring. We were standing on the edge of the bluff painting with one hand and holding our canvases with the other. I dashed this very quickly as the shadows moved down the side of the house.I painted the view, Bear painted me painting theview. If you want to see his rendering check out his blog over there on the right. 8x10in oil on panel
Saturday, May 12, 2012
This stone house is at Jerusalem Mill. I lived just over the hill in the background back in the late '70's when it was in private ownership. It now belongs to the state. I finished it off with more leaves in the upper part but framed it for a show before I got another shot. I posted it just for the record. What facinated me was the play of light on the stones and foreground. 18x26in pastel on sanded paper.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Around 7 pm the setting sun creates long shadows that eventually engulf these two little houses in KeeneValley. This is the first time I painted the presence of my wife and self into the picture. We walk by these buildings every day. I am experimenting with what pastels can do as opposed to oil paint and I love the way you can layer colors.
8x10in pastel on black rag board SOLD
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Last summer I painted a small Plein Air sketch of this famous little falls in Keene Valley. I completed this studio painting using the sketch as a guide. Two artists I know have painted this falls and I wanted to create my own interpretation. I built up this image with many layers of marks and smudges trying not to be too realistic but it happened anyway.
Big Crow is a small mountain with a super view. We climb it every year. At the top someone had built a small cairn to mark the top. Stylistically I wanted to create a piece made up of small dashes of color like the Impressionists instead of flat planes of color ala Porter or Katz. Seeing the Van Gogh show "Up Close" in Philadelphia gave me a new respect for his genius and the way he applied paint to canvas. I also discovered that there was a name for subject matter that Van Gogh and other 19th and early 20th cen painters explored when they went into the forest to paint. It was called
"Sous-Boise" Into the woods. 16x20in pastel on board. SOLD
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Experimenting with soft pastels on a black surface. A local framer("Fast Frames", very nice people) donated some centercuts of matboards that they were going to recycle to my school. I wanted to see how they would be to draw on before I gave them to my students and I really like the results. They are smooth with just enough tooth to work with soft pastel. Not as good with hard pastels. This surface is a very thick black core black matboard. 8x10in pastel SOLD
My mother tells me that my father proposed to her by this willow tree in 1950. She tells me every time we pass it, one of the reasons I was really keen on painting it.When I am lucky enough to visit her home on the Severn River I try to wake at dawn to catch to morning sun. The painter Michael Barre says that willow trees are some of the hardest trees to paint. That's probably because they are so wispy and difficult for the paintbrush to pull off. I was hesitant to attempt this myself until I started fooling around with these very soft pastels. By gently rubbing the side over a rough surface (black mat board, in this case) I found the textures made really seem to create the illusion of the feathery nature of the willow. 8x10in. terry ludwig pastels
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The Farmers Market is starting up this Saturday. I worked this one from a photo I took last year. I really like building up patches of colors. Let's face it. I don't do smooth. I will live with this one for a couple of days and smooth out some of the rough edges maybe. but I am amazed by the colors of these Non supermarket tomatoes , and the taste, oh boy , I can't wait for Summer. pastel 11x14in
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Working on a big pastel tonight. It's getting close to steamed crab season and really wanted to do a painting with absolutely NO green in it. Had my first soft shell last week. I was wondering how I could paint all that crusty Old Bay and had a grand time just layering the colors. No attempt to paint smooth realism. Just layering those patchy squiggles. Love that Cadmium! 18x24in pastel (work in progress)