Nancy says, “I’ve spent much of my working career applying visual arts to practical problems—as graphic designer for paying clients and as pro bono designer for children’s advocacy and church organizations. These paintings are the art I do for myself.
“Acrylics are a delightfully diverse medium. Apply them thin as a wash or thick as modeling paste. Apply in layers—for instance, adding complementary colors successively to yield complex color patterns. Blot, wipe, scrunch, splatter. Acrylic glazes are a versatile way to incorporate the textures, shapes, and colors of found objects into a painting.
“I am fascinated with leaves. As stamps, masks, and appliqués, leaves find their way onto many of my paintings.”
In this post (below) we introduce some of the works Nancy has created using leaves as a theme. (Note also on the menu above, the addition of a gallery page with these same paintings. We will be adding other gallery pages, so keep checking back.)
Some of these paintings will be included in the Morgan Arts Council Ice House “Freedom of Expression” Exhibit, Berkeley Springs, WV, September 25 through November 8.
Nancy will also be teaching some of these techniques in a workshop at the Ice House, September 26.
Leaf Study No. 1
Acrylic/Mixed Media Montage on Canvas
18 x 18
Leaf Study No. 2
Acrylic/Mixed Media on Canvas
18 x 18
Leaf Study No. 3
Acrylic/Mixed Media Montage on Canvas
16 x 20
Leaf Study No. 4
Acrylic/Mixed Media Montage on Illustration Board
30 x 20
We are blessed, this last week of August, with a foretaste of autumn weather—low temperatures, low humidity, and clear blue skies. Today was a pleasant day for weeding, and Nancy and I pulled three large trash bags full. Also a pleasant day for the dog and I to take a long walk. We have several main loops and many variations, ranging from one to five miles. Today Mona pulled me into the longest one, the one with a stretch of gated-off utility access road on which I can remove her leash and let her roam.
An earlier signal of the end of summer is the return of the goldfinches to the dead seed heads in our coneflowers. From the first of August, walking out of the house or pulling into the driveway triggers flashes of yellow as the finches chitter off into the safety of tall trees. This year they have been especially present, in the flowers and drinking from the cup of water atop Nancy’s hummingbird feeder (the ant-stopping moat) just outside our dining room window. One morning as I ate breakfast, I was treated to repeated yellow flashes, lower right to upper left (coneflower garden to neighbor’s trees) culminating in a twister-like display as two spiraled around each other up into the forest. Fighting over a mate or food source? Or just a dance of delight?
Over the weekend, as I tended the compost bins, I uncovered two small snakes in the leaf pile. With some research, I identified them as juvenile black rat snakes. Apparently, what I have been calling a black snake could be either a black rat snake or a black racer. My weekend sighting gives me hope that the snake who met his/her end entangled in my bird netting (see previous post) left progeny behind who will continue the good fight against field mice and chipmunks and other vermin.
It has been a good summer for gardening. Not too wet, not too dry, not too hot. Some plants have inexplicably died, but others have thrived as never before. The deer have been merciful, the blooms long-lasting. Cosmos and hosta are still spectacular. And Nancy seems to have found a solution to the string algae that plagued her pond last summer. A single water hyacinth has multiplied and totally changed the nature of the pond, from a scum bucket to a prolific frog habitat.
Blacksnake is dead. I had written earlier about the snake that briefly inhabited our attic and heating duct runs last summer, and his/her determination to be near, if not in, our house this year. Yesterday I found his mortal remains in our garden shed, entangled in a bundle of bird netting we’d had on a shelf.
I am a middle-of-the-roader when it comes to snakes. Not a hoe-wielding chopper of anything long and legless; but also not inclined to catch and play with them. Moderately creeped-out, that’s me. Grateful for their rodent-control efforts, I’d rather not spend time in close proximity. But on the snake scale, this blacksnake was much higher in my affections that the copperhead I found on our street a few years ago, a victim not of any hoe, but of its unfortunate fondness for warm pavement. I viewed blacksnake as my protector from rodents and copperheads, and will miss him or her.
The end must have been violent, to judge from the things knocked off the shelf and the twisted state of the bird netting. I can only hope it was relatively quick, strangulation not starvation. Predator did not succumb to another predator, but to a piece of human detritus. A sad and ignoble end.