Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Small Songs


 These small works are oil on wood panel, with the exception of the final two images, which are mixed media on black paper.



The Wine Dark Sea, 6x9", 2003
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Green Wave, 6x9", 2003
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Squall, 6x9", 2003

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Dolphin Cloud, 6x9", 2003
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Arch, 6x9", 2003
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About Tuscany, 6x9". 2003
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Spring Grass Fires, 6x9", 2003
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Night Sea, 6x11", 2003
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Moolit Cloud Bank, 6x11", 2003
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Pale Moon on the Levee, 6x11", 2003
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Dust Storm, 6x11", 2003
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On the Dunes, 6x9", 2003
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High Butte, 6x9", 2003
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Wing in Water, 8x11", 2003
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Water Bears, 8x11", 2003
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Sweet Northern Songs

This is a collection of pieces that I feel show the cultural influences of growing up in the American Midwest in a first generation Irish and Norwegian family. Several of the paintings were begun in the late sixties when I lived in Toronto. I kept a small studio in Markham Village, and was represented by Gallery Moos on Yorkville Avenue. When my husband and I left for UCLA, I took a roll of unfinished canvases with me, knowing that I'd complete them when life got back to normal. My husband's PhD, three children, and a long, interesting working life in environmental assessment allowed only sporadic attempts at painting, and I didn't really get my chance until the hot Texas summer of 2000. This collection includes those completed canvases, some contemporary work, and a few from the years between.
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The Bear and the Girls, x , oil on canvas, 1986
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Picnic at White Egret Falls, 40x54", oil on canvas, 2000
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Night Racing, 24 x 34", oil on canvas, 2002

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Elk at the Garden Gate, 36x39", oil on canvas, 2001

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Coming to Town, 40x26", oil and mixed media on Yupo, 2002

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Mourning the Kursk, 46x61", oil on canvas, 2000

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Fjord Wedding, 34x62", oil on canvas, 2002

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The Journey, 55x32", oil on canvas, 2001
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A House God, 68x45", oil on canvas, 2002
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Walking the Highlands, 26x20", oil on Yupo, 2003


Bluebird, 40x26", oil on Yupo, 2002
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Jungle Ruins, 20x26", oil on Yupo, 2003
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Detail, The Bear and the Girls, oil on canvas, 1986
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Love at the Top of the World, 62x34", oil on canvas, 1996
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Cleo and the Cosmos, 41x57", oil on canvas,  2001
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Covering the News

During the winter 2004-5 I found myself drawn to newspaper photos. The images spoke of politics at home and in foreign places, of need and rescue, of everyday pleasures and heroic moments, each one so specific we can see ourselves there. I'd never worked from news stories before, but by summer I began to think of that pile of clippings as a spring board to my own work. As I studied each photo I often found it calling for more than one version of the "story", since the act of painting can open resonances in ones thinking, spatially (rearrangement of elements and relationships) and linearly (other ways to speak of the story content). In the end there were more than twenty-four 10x10" oil paintings on wood panels. These are a few of them.
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The Patrons, 10x10", 2005
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Lone Sentry, 10x10", 2005
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Lonely Outpost, 10x10", 2005

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On a Winter Day, 10x10", 2005

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Rescue Attempt, 10x10", 2005

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Together, 10x10", 2005

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Boys Need a Home, 10x10, 2005

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Songwriter, 10x10", 2005

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Rumsfeld and Karzai, 10x10", 2005

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The Rowing Team, 10x10", 2005

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Trooper in Starbucks, 10x10", 2005

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Polar Fundraiser, 10x10" 2005

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First Jumper, 10x10", 2005


.Waiting to Vote in Zimbabwe, 10x10", 2005


The Peace Sign, 10x10, 2005

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Coffee Trees

This series was created during the winter of 2009.

I'd like to tell you how this run began. It was a coincidence back in January that a picture formed in my almost empty coffee cup. I snapped a photo because I loved the image I saw there, like winter trees in a morning sky. When I started painting weeks later, I remembered the way the grounds were separated by tiny rivulets of water, and I spent some happy days trying to make oil paint, terp, and stray materials flow in ways that evoked trees, lichens, and winter vegetation. I began to include pieces of mistletoe and other plants in the printing as well as stray studio items. Browns turned to greens as my thoughts turned to spring.

They are all oil paint on Yupo in a spectrum from brush strokes and poured paint to monotypes.


Flow Tree, 13 x 13", 2009


Companions, 13 x 13", 2009

Serengeti, 13x13", 2009


Many Grasses Make a Tree, 13x13" 2009


Flowers from Honey, 13x13", 2009


Lichen Home, 13x13", 2009


Inland Sea Oats, 13x13", 2009


Postcard, 1953 Tour, 13x13", 2009


Postcard, Summer 1947, 13x13" 2009


Ferns in Amber, 13x13" 2009


Amazon, 13x13" 2009


Train, 13x13", 2009


Ancient Bugs, 13x13" 2009