Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter in Northwest Washington

Blanchard in the Clouds. ©2011 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen Panel. 15" x 15".
As the new year comes to a close the drizzle coats my skylights and I'm focused on finishing paintings of winter in the Northwest.

This is what I often see to the west when I head home - the sun slipping under the clouds just beyond Blanchard Mountain, with the oyster gray clouds piling up overhead. Blanchard Mountain was an area I worked to protect for a number of years and it holds great meaning to me.

Friday, December 9, 2011

More from the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum has a really interesting contemporary exhibit and then European art on their main floor. We went up to the second floor where there was more interesting (and some ordinary) modern art and folk art. My son checked out the basement and reported that there was nothing to see there. Since I hadn't seen any 19th century American art in the museum I asked him if there was anything that I would like downstairs. "Maybe..."

In addition to the Inness there was this by Frederic Church. I really like the composition and color of this one.
A Passing Shower. Frederic Edwin Church. 1860. Oil on canvas.

But one of my favorite pieces in the museum was on the main floor. I went back 3 times to look again:

Madonna and Child. Nardo di Cione. ca. 1350. Tempera and gold leaf on panel.
Gorgeous saturated colors, lovely skin, all in remarkable condition. It takes my breath away.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inness at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Sunset in Georgia. George Inness. 1890. Oil on canvas board.

Thanksgiving weekend my husband and I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum and tucked away on the 1st floor were 3 Inness paintings. A very nice collection. For those of us concerned with stray bristles, bits of our wool sweaters or pet hair in the paint - Inness' later paintings are full of that texture.

Closeup of Sunset in Georgia, Inness.

Autumn by the Sea. George Inness. 1875. Oil on Canvas.

Close up of Autumn by the Sea, George Inness.

Closeup of Autumn by the Sea, George Inness.

Sunrise, also known as Sunset and The Rising of the Moon, 1888. George Inness. Oil on Canvas.

Closeup of Sunrise, also known as Sunset and The Rising of the Moon, 1888. George Inness. Oil on Canvas.

Closeup of Sunrise, also known as Sunset and The Rising of the Moon, 1888. George Inness. Oil on Canvas.

Closeup of Sunrise, also known as Sunset and The Rising of the Moon, 1888. George Inness. Oil on Canvas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dryland Wheat

Dryland Wheat on the Plateau. ©2011 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen. 12" x 24". SOLD.
This small piece is the result of my experiments with painting wheat.

This is the plateau that my great grandparents settled. It's always struck me as a strange place to settle. Around the time they moved there, Washington was a new state and this was a rocky, lawless area. The land was carved out by massive floods and where they live, water is a long way below the ground. Each farm is huge and is spread out along the tops of plateaus, separated by coulees. There are basalt outcrops in the coulees and rattlesnakes. It's hard to picture arriving in a wagon and thinking, "Yes, this looks like home."

But it's the edge of the Palouse and according to my husband (a geologist) the soil is windblown loess (that's a good thing.)

Now I think it's stunning.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Art Opening this Friday on Bainbridge

Study for Wheat 1. ©2011 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen. 8" x 8".

This Friday, 6-8pm, is the opening of Invitational Small Works Exhibit at Roby King Galleries on Bainbridge. If you're in the area I hope you'll stop by!

Study for Wheat 1 is one of several small studies I spent months with over the spring, summer and into September. I paint a great many paintings of fields, especially wheat fields, and have struggled with them. Deborah Paris made some suggestions last spring and I diligently went to work trying them out. Study for Wheat 1 was a back and forth process of opaque paint with thin, transparent paint glazed over and wiped off.