22 March 2010

Spring is here...kind of...

It's although it is barely above freezing where I live, the snow is almost completely gone. It feels like spring.
This painting is made for Alison in Massachusetts who was kind enough to buy a Panda gift certificate that I donated to a silent auction at my son's school. It's a long travel for a silent auction.
Alison asked for a painting that would remind here that winter will eventually be over. Then she added, "I've also been drawn to fiddlehead ferns lately. Random, I know!".
Not random at all. The fiddlehead is a great symbol for spring. It's new growth, new life. (and you can eat it).
I painted most of the fiddlehead with a Chinese brush. One with long, skinny, wiry bristles. (I'm sure it has a name but... I don't know it). This is one of the brushes I bought in San Francisco at an art supply store in China Town. It was in 2001 and I was on my honeymoon happy and throwing my money around. I didn't use them for a couple of years but now this brush is a favorite. It doesn't seem to wear out. (your not supposed to use the same brush for a decade).
I set up this painting with sumi ink (new) and that is most of the black here. I has a beautiful rich tone. ...however it will rub off of gessoed wood with a wet rag. I'll do a layer of gloss medium on top to stop that from happening... and to make it nice and shiny. I like my work to be relatively indestructible.I'm of the "wood will rot before the pigment goes away" mentality.
Sometimes, I still get into arguments with myself about how much I should define in an object when painting. You would think that after making so many paintings (over 40 on this blog alone) I would have it down to a science... but I'm obviously not a scientist. Every new painting as a challenge. I question how I treat each one. This probably facilitates constant artistic growth.... but from a business standpoint I'm a nightmare.
Anyway... Thank you, Allison! I'll mail the painting once it's dry and water resistant.

In Other News: I've been rebuilding my personal website. Recently I've added many images (more than doubled) and divided them into galleries by subject matter. I've also added some brief texts talking about each gallery. I think this will make the site more enjoyable to look at. I'll keep adding things as I make them.
Soon there will also be a store where you can purchase some of the work on that site with ease. So check it out at :

...and here is a link to some fiddlehead fern recipes... including cream of fiddlehead soup. If you try any of them, leave a comment...


Alison said...

Thank you so much! On ANOTHER rainy, cool day in Boston, the colors look invigorating and summery! I can't wait to see the painting in person. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job on my fiddlehead ferns-I'm thrilled!

Catharina said...

Wow. It has the presence of a small animal.

bandit said...


I think I might "borrow" your fiddlehead soup concept for a haiku. A lovely, seasonal phrase in itself.


(from St. Paul)

John Megas said...

Do that! Send me the Haiku when you're done and I'll post it here.

bandit said...

Hey, how are you!

fitful dreams
awakened to cravings
for fiddlehead soup

More of an edgy gendai (modern) haiku.

English using fewer syllables since Japanese phonetic units of 5-7-5 are different.

Fiddlehead ferns are a Japanese kigo (seasonal word) dating back hundreds of years-(pre- Gregorian calendar) this denotes to familiar readers a Spring reference.

The "hai" in haiku denotes amusement-I hope this makes your client smile!