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A Leap into Landscapes

Cinque Terre

View of Cinque Terre, Italy from our Ship, 2018 Korcula Harbor and The Artemis, 2018

June is a busy month for everyone. In our family we celebrate Father's Day and also my mother's birthday which sometimes falls on the same Sunday. At this point in their lives, my parents do not want to accumulate belongings and I try to respect that when I am thinking of gifts for them. But they always appreciate anything handmade. In recent years they have taken my sister and me on wonderful small boat cruises run by a company called Grand Circle Travel. I looked through my photos from the trips and chose two to paint for them. Because wall space is at a premium in their house I made the paintings very, very small (about 4" or so - I included a paint brush and tube to give a sense of scale). I hinged them to foam core, glued a little stand to the back, and cut a mat to act as an informal frame. There is no glazing. This way, they can each stand the painting up in a spot that gives them joy.

Pair of landscape paintings

Landscapes all ready for gifting

I gave my dad the painting of Cinque Terre with it's beautiful colorful buildings nestled in the mountains. My mom got a view of our small ship,The Artemis, in the harbor of Korcula, an amazing Medieval City in Croatia. When I get a chance I would love to look through my photos and pick out more subjects to paint.

Downtown Maplewood

Downtown Maplewood, NJ, 2018

After making these small watercolors for my parents I decided to try some panoramic scenes of sights close to home. On impulse I had purchased a block of Arches paper measuring about 4" x 10" and then I immediately regretted spending money on such a useless size! So my interest in painting panoramas came from trying not to regret my purchase. Above is a view of downtown Maplewood, NJ with it's faux tudor and 1930s Deco-ish buildings. It's essentially one street just a few blocks long but it has everything you need.

Belmont Building

The Belmont Building, Downtown Maplewood, NJ, 2018

In this panorama I isolated the cornice area of the Deco style Belmont Building (no one in Maplewood calls it that). It is at the "busy" corner of Maplewood Avenue and Baker Street. It kind of reminds me of Paris. While the building is a sandstone color, I painted it in tones of purple because, well, prettier! My husband didn't recognize it. I guess he doesn't look up often (we've lived here for 20 years and often walk to town).

South Mountain Reservation

McLoone's Boathouse, South Mountain Reservation, 2018

My most recent panorama painting features the restaurant McLoone's Boathouse in the South Mountain Reservation. It was built very recently but has an "olde tyme" Adirondack Lodge kind of look. The county added the restaurant and a very pleasant walking path around the reservoir landscaped with native plants. It's a beautiful and relaxing place to walk.

So that's what I've been up to. Painting for gifts and painting out of guilt. Expect to see 17 more panoramas because there are 20 papers in the Arches block I bought ;)

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