Sunday, April 8, 2007

In the Morning

"Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul."
– Psalm 143:8

“In the Morning” ©2007 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 12 • acrylic on 3/4" cradled gessobord • sides painted dark brown
The cradled back allows for hanging flush against the wall
Gloss varnish for protection and ease of cleaning • sold unframed
CLICK HERE to bid!

I hope everyone had a happy and blessed Easter!

I actually finished this painting some time ago, but I just finished varnishing it and painting the sides. Our dog Trixie and I have a standing appointment for a long walk first thing in the morning (6:30-ish), again around 11:00 am, and again around 3:30 on weekdays. It's actually in my day planner. If I'm "in the zone" and work just a few minutes past the appointed time, she'll sit and drill a hole in my head with her stare until I snap out of it. Sometimes I forget to eat lunch, but Trixie won't let me forget our walk! We go, no matter what the weather (although sometimes we cut the walk a little shorter if it's absolutely freezing, and on rainy days we adjust the times to take advantage of breaks in the weather - we're both pretty flexible that way). I love our walks - after a few hours of concentrated creativity it's good to get up and out for a breather!

Well, I had the idea a few weeks ago of doing a series of paintings of what we see on these outings. The Neighborhood Paintings. I thought it would be a good exercise in paying attention. I set myself a goal of 20 paintings for the series, and so far the ideas are coming WAY faster than I ever expected!

This oak tree is one of many on the rolling front lawn of the church in the next block. I took the reference photos one chilly morning in March, just after dawn. The trees in the distance, over the edge of the hill, really did look all blue and misty like this, although somewhere in the development of the painting the lawn became a little bayou with grassy banks. (Over the years I've come to accept and look forward to the fact that sometimes, in spite of all my planning and studies and sketches, a painting just goes off and be's what it wants to be - it's kind of cool, actually - like a surprise gift someone gives you for no particular reason.)

I used brushes and painting knives on this one. I think I may have used my thumbnail and the paint rag once or twice. It has lots of layers of glazed colors, and interesting texture and abstract elements when viewed up close. I used a gloss acrylic varnish for protection and easy cleaning. Below is the monochromatic underpainting, and a close up detail of the finished work.


Karen Mathison Schmidt said...

This is a test.

Kelley MacDonald said...

OK, so I get to be the FIRST poster? I really like your painting of the tree in the morning. It really speaks about the very best time of the day. Nice composition. Sweet color. Gorgeous Bailey, too! I'll have to post a photo of Harry & Izzy!

Karen Mathison Schmidt said...

Yes, Kelley, you are my very first blog commenter EVER! Thanks so much for your kind words -- I love the morning best of all, too. I'm a big fan of new beginnings.
BTW, I would pass your "gorgeous" compliment on to Bailey but I don't want to encourage her -- she already considers herself queen of the universe!