Archive for February, 2016

Painting a New Idea From an Old Love

February 29, 2016
"Little Chapel in the Sky", Acrylic on wood panel, 1 1/4" sides painted, Karen Gillis Taylor, 250.00.

“Little Chapel in the Sky”, Acrylic on wood panel, 1 1/4″ sides painted, Karen Gillis Taylor, 250.00.

I bet I’m not the only artist who imagined, as a kid, I owned my very own secret hide-away. I built houses out of cardboard and paper mache, mainly dreaming all the time I would live in such a house eventually.

The mountains of Colorado were so special to me, growing up near Denver, although my parents only rarely drove us up there for a day trip and picnic lunch. I can still smell the pines and feel the crunch of needles under my Keds. Later, when I moved to Boulder, deer visited town often. They are such graceful creatures. Today I’m thrilled when we see one or two strolling through our back yard space.

Deer detail, "Little Chapel in the Trees."

Deer detail, “Little Chapel in the Sky.”

This painting came about when I began to draw tree houses, just for fun. Now I’m on my second painting of tree houses, a dawn scene.

tree-house-crop Painting is definitely a form of escape for me. Not just because I enjoy the process, which I do. I also feel like I’m a builder, and later, an inhabitant, when I make scenes like this.

tree-house-moon I sense the night breeze, whipping lightly through the pines, swirling snowflakes up to the starry skies. The moon is not a cold, distant thing, but tied directly to the scene with the circular rhythm of the brush strokes. I’m glad I used a thicker gesso to brush on, as the under priming, because I like the textures that show through in the light areas here and there.

I my imagination, I wonder what the little deer below is thinking or noticing about the tree house, illuminated both from within and from above. The dominant blue color is one of peace and spiritual feelings. There is a warmth to the subject, which you might not expect from the cool color of blue.

This painting was not done in a day or a week, but over a two week period, mostly at night. We are painting rooms in our house, to put it on the market very soon, so time doesn’t allow long sessions for painting in the studio. I suppose we have to take our snippets of time here and there when life gets really busy, so I’m thankful for discovering these hidden tree houses now, pulled up from childhood memories and dreams. Another one is on the way!

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