Pinterest Facebook Blogger

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sarah Goodnough Painting of Queen Anne's Lace

I remember being a little girl and looking up at the tall Queen Anne's lace in my neighbor, Mrs. Gaston's english garden. It made an impression on me, I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps a combination of it's tall delicate simplicity and it's name, "Queen Anne's Lace". After all, who was this Queen Anne and did she really use this flower for lace?

With a star burst of white flowers on lime green stems, there is something enchanting about this wild flower that pops up along roadsides, meadows, gardens, parking lots and anywhere else it can find a place to grow. It is a prolific flower, growing wild and free, dotting July and August landscapes with hints of summer memories come and gone. I am sure I could google the story of how this flower got it's name, however, I believe it is the nostalgia brought back by seeing it year after year, showing up where least expected and taking one back to sweet times that makes this wild flower so fit for a queen.

I titled this acrylic painting "Delicate Nostalgia". It is 36 x 36. The original has sold, but I do have limited edition giclee canvas prints available in 40 x 40, 36 x 36 , 30 x 30 and 24 x 24. Refer to my website, for pricing and more available prints.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Birds in Flight Paintings

On the Rise (40 x 30) Mixed Media, Original Sold
Lunar Migration (24 x 24) Mixed Media on Canvas, Original Sold
Winged Ascension (36 x 48) Acrylic on Canvas, Original Sold, Prints Available
Flight (36 x 48) Acrylic on Canvas, Original Sold, Prints Available
Embarking Daybreak (36 x 48) Acrylic on Canvas, Original Sold, Prints Available
Crimson Flurry (24 x 24) Mixed Media on Canvas, Original Sold
Coastal Migration (24 x 24) Mixed Media on Canvas, Original Sold
5 O'clock Meadow (30 x 30) Acrylic on Canvas, Original Sold, Prints Available
Taking Flight (40 x 30) Mixed Media on Canvas, Original Sold
I have always been captivated by watching birds fly. This series was inspired by capturing that fleeting, beautiful moment when a flock of birds gracefully takes flight. They are so in tune with one another, I am always in awe of their directional instinct, powerful wings, light bodies, and elegant flying ability.

I used silver and gold leafing in some of these as a design element. Many people say they see a rock wall, and like the juxtaposition of manmade structure and nature. I like to let people use their own imagination to make sense of the abstraction. By putting a recognizable concrete subject like birds in the picture, the brain is forced to bring understanding to the background.

I do have giclee prints of some of these paintings available in print sizes, 18 x 27, 24 x 32, 30 x 40 and 36 x 48. The silver and gold leaf do not print well, so there are not any giclee prints available paintings with this element.

Tree Sketches for a Commissioned Painting

Thumbnail sketches for a commission that I am working on. The client wants to have four large paintings of a tree that changes with the seasons to hang over their fire place. It will be a vertical 40 x 60. I will work a few of these into some colored renderings that give the client some ideas and choices for their paintings. It is good to clarify and narrow down what they envision for their home.

I typically do not work from sketches, but it is nice to come up with several concrete ideas. Perhaps a few of these will show up in some other paintings of mine. It is exciting for me to think of all the color possibilities with the same scene, and the same shaped tree, creating so many different paintings around one concept.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inside My Art Studio

After moving in July, I have been working in my new studio. It has been freeing to be in a larger space that I can step far back and see my paintings at a distance. I am so grateful and working on making it my dream studio.

I am currently in the process of remodeling the space... my significant other doesn't care to hear my music through the paper thin/non insulated ceiling, and I can never seem to play my music loud enough:-) I am thankful that he is an architect and knows how to fix the situation. I also am having adequate lighting put in, painting the walls and putting in new flooring ... I am so excited, truly a kid at Christmas.

I have been working around the contractors, putting away all my supplies and bringing them out again when they are gone... it definitely is a minimalist working situation at the moment.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Handwritten Letters vs. Modern Technology

I received a hand written letter from my Grandmother (Nana) today. It got me thinking about letter writing becoming a lost art form in this world of e-mail and internet. Will we have lost the personal connection to people that have passed in 100 years?

I went to Ohio on a recent family visit. While home, my Grandmother shared with my sister and I, letters she recently received from her cousin. They were old letters written during WWI from her father to his sister. It was a wonderful new treasure for Nana to have in her possession, I could sense the connection she felt to her father who had long passed, not a small thing to a 89 year old woman. It was a beautiful experience for my sister and I, learning about our family history through the words of a man we never got to meet. We listened as she read the cursive handwriting on the yellow, aged paper. There were 3 or 4 letters dated between 1918-1919, and in them he told how his soon to be wife had visited him at the Army base before he departed to Europe. He shared his thoughts on not wanting to marry her until he was back home safe, in fear that he would be "boxed" coming home. While overseas, he wrote of only wanting one thing sent to him..."candy", we all got a good laugh out of this. When he went on to specify how he wanted the good chocolates, I began to really feel family ties. In learning where he was stationed, what he was doing daily, and getting little tidbits of what may seem trivial pieces of information, I was left yearning for more. Knowing these letters are little that remains from a family member long gone, I now feel a connection to my Great Grandfather, and a deeper connection to my Nana. There is great value in this.

It appears as we get older, we do want to know more about our family and where we came from, I know I do. There are few things as personal as someones handwriting, especially when it is them writing about their personal thoughts and experiences. A handwritten letter is a link to that persons humanity, to their soul. I don't think the sentiment or nostalgic effect would have felt the same if my Grandma had said "I have these old e-mails from your Great Grandfather".

Don't get me wrong, I love technology; with Skype, e-mail, texting and social media we have an instant connection to people that has never been possible and that certainly has worth. I know my sister was able to feel closer to her husband, who was in Iraq for a year, by using Skype. The visual connection gave instant relief to fears of him being okay. However, would their Great Grandchildren have enjoyed reading letters written between them during this time? Those Great Grandchildren would someday have the possibility to feel the deep connection to their past, and also have the knowledge of the history of their Great Grandparent's era. Now, only to be lost to messages on Facebook and Skype.

I have a treasure box full of letters and cards from family and friends, I will add the letter my Nana just sent to that box. I hope to live a long and healthy life, and in 40 years I will pull out that box and reminisce about the people in my life that I loved dearly. It definitely makes me contemplate what writings and sentiments I will contribute others in the future. Perhaps this is just my ego wanting to preserve my existence or a woman stuck in tradition and nostalgia. I know I am guilty of not hand writing letters, and I am pretty sure the people in younger generations do not either. Is letter writing becoming obsolete? If so, are we ready to face the lost sentiment and gap in our personal history in the years ahead? Perhaps I should make an effort to write more letters.