I've been resting quite a bit lately. After all, it's the holiday season: I like to use it as a time to relax with family, refresh my body and spirit, and think about my goals for the new year....We had a lovely and unexpected white Christmas, which allowed me the opportunity to take some pictures of the local landscape blanketed with snow. I feel good about my progress and, during the last few weeks, I've been working on a new topic: carousel horses. I want to play with textures here, and I still have a long way to go before this painting is complete and I've captured the hard and reflective quality of the horses, the softness of the feathers and the diffuse nature of the background. I'll post more about this painting as it's completed. Meanwhile, I'm attempting to remember to keep as much "irregularity" in my work here as I can: I am attempting to develop as much irregularity as I can in the shapes, the values, the colors, and in the lines. I'm using granulating paints, too, which will add to the irregularity of value and color.
I'm posting three little value sketches here of a barn up the road from me. I walked up there earlier today to draw, and from the one drawing, I've used Adobe Photoshop to play with the scene. I'm moving things around to see what picture conveys the drama I'm feeling today...first, I've included the sketch of the entire seen as I saw it. In the second picture, I cropped the bottom of the sketch, and focused on the large sky and mountains; and my third scene is a simplified close up of the barn alone.
Each sketch has a slightly different mood......and, I can paint this as either a snow scene, or a late fall scene. I have all the information I need.
This painting is titled "Snow Bound" and it's now on display at ArtSquare in Leesburg, VA for the December 2012 sale and exhibit. This house is down the road from me, and near my rural home. It's called the Hessian House, because Hessian soldiers camped here during the Revolutionary War. I walk my dog past this house every day, and I'm mesmerized by the many angles, the deep shadows, the decay, and those gnarly trees. There were obviously many additions made as new families came in and out and growing needs were met. There's also something very mysterious about the home site. I'm painting from my heart here....
Here it is December, 2012, so I've been busy painting scenes of snow, the rural countryside, the mountains and....sheep. I have some sheep living along my rural country road, and I cannot stop looking at them and sketching them.
I've been painting sheep in the snow.....I'm using 140 lb hot press and 140 lb cold pressed rough papers, which are not my usual surfaces, but I'm having a wonderful time experimenting with techniques and papers. Here is a picture of "Sheep in the Snow."
I've also been busily making deliveries of cards, prints and paintings to many locations around Virginia, Maryland, and beyond. Check out these locations for work by Catherine Hillis: The Arts Center in Orange, VA; The Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center; The Loft in Culpeper, VA; Everyday Elegance in Purcellville, VA; ArtSquare in Leesburg, VA; and The Pennello Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio.