Monday, February 27, 2012

The Show at ACT

The big event this past weekend was a lot of fun.  We had a steady group of people looking through the paintings and getting to see the fantastic facilities of the Alachua Conservation Trust.  The paintings are available for viewing at the headquarters of the ACT through March 16.  Check the link and call to make sure that there is no conflict, but they are planning on people coming and seeing the paintings.   Remember they are all for sale and your purchase will benefit the ACT.
Everybody’s work was exhibited together and I think the work worked well together. (Can I say work worked?)  I think that’s the best way to put it.  There was a good harmony.   I guess it’s not proper to talk about my own work, so I’ll mention my favorites from the other artists in the project. 

Mary Jane Volkmann:  I loved her large piece of the typical Florida jungle that must have been the edge of prairie.  Beautiful muted grays and greens with the center of interest a palm tree lighted by sunshine and rustled by a gentle breeze. 

Charles Dickinson:  I really liked his painting of the old railroad trestle.  Charles is a master of dappled light.  His paintings are simple but intricate.  There’s a neat story to that painting too.  Apparently he painted it on location then came back some days later to finalize the work and whoever is in charge had cleaned and painted the trestle.   All of the old patina was gone.  So if you love the trestle your going to want to get Charles’ painting.  Otherwise you’ll have to wait a long time to see the patina again.

Linda Blondheim:  Linda had a bunch of great pieces.  My favorite was a large almost square piece of a path to the prairie.   Deep colors and lot’s of colors.  Palms, Oaks, Spanish Moss, vines, leaves, branches all pulled together in a nice inviting and color filled composition.

Scott Hiestand:  It’s hard to pick one of Scott’s.  He has a great light touch.  My favorite was a small piece titled, I think, “Early Spring”.  Beautiful muted red grey background with a delicate small tree with whispery early springs buds the center of interest.  The tree was beautifully painted with light grey green color and hints of the coming of spring. 

So there you go.   I hope that encourages you to get out there and take a look at the artwork.  These are my favorites I would love to see some comments added with your favorites.

 Scott Hiestand

 My painting "Storm Comimg Hopkins Prairie"

Scott and Linda's Paintings

Thanks for looking

Steve Andrews  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How do you paint a prairie?

The project is winding down.  Here's a link to the big event that will give you an opportunity to answer the question in the above title.  How do you paint a prairie?  Just give the assignment to a group of artists, and part of the fun is coming out and looking at how each choose to interpret what is generally considered a flat, boring piece of ground.  So come out this next Saturday, February 25th.  The address and directions are in the link.  All of the paintings from the project will be hanging for you to see.  All of the paintings are also for sale and each sale will benefit the Alachua Conservation Trust.  Also, all of the artist will be there and will be painting  during the day.

The painting above is from Hopkins Prairie in the Ocala National Forest.  I'm aiming at the hot dry grasses against the cool pine forest in the background.  A worm's eye view. (Do worm's have eyes?  I wonder why they don't call it a snake's eye view?  Hmmm?  Those snakes always get a bad rap.)  Anyway, I love to meet you and talk with you about the fun and adventure of painting these prairies.
Hope to see you there.

Thanks for looking.

Steve Andrews

Friday, February 3, 2012

Prairie thrills

At certain times of the year the grasses and bushes in the prairie are tall and thick, making access challenging.  Once winter sets in they turn glorious colors of golds, oranges, browns and purples, then gradually the vegetation thins.  During this time the prairies receive their winter visitors ~ birds on their migratory routes dipping down to forage and thrill us with their circling calls.  Smaller birds dart from bush to bush.  Often when I'm painting I will suddenly be surprised as a flock of small birds I hadn't noticed flees from a nearby bush, started by a noise I may have unconsciously made!  I always return from these trips refreshed and rejuvenated!

As you will have read, our big event at Prairie Creek Lodge is just around the corner!  The postcards are ready and are being mailed and we're inviting everyone we can to come and see what we've done and hopefully purchase our paintings to support art and the invaluable work being done by the Alachua Conservation Trust.  ACT has gone out of their way to prepare a fun day for this project on February 25.  It will run from noon to 9 p.m.  One or the other of us will be painting on location throughout the afternoon, so you can come and watch and talk with us as we work.  There will be live music and hors d'ouvres.  This will also be a great opportunity to learn about the educational and land acquisition projects of the Alachua Conservation Trust.  If you'd like more information, you are welcome to contact them directly at 352-373-1078.  We hope to see you there! 

Mary Jane Volkmann