Monday, July 28, 2014

"life flashing by"

life flashing by
20" x 24" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

I took several pictures from the window of our car on a trip months ago.  The light on the trees and grass flashing by my window was just gorgeous.... that last golden light of the day.  Ordinary straggly pine trees, saplings and overgrown weeds on the side of the highway made glorious by light. All of it flashing by so quickly.  Just a glimpse of gold, red and green with the deep blue twilight sky peeking through.  Then left behind and just a memory.

I have been reminded this summer just how quickly life flashes by.  Moments are here and then they are gone.  Life changes so quickly. We think that our life is all about the big things, the important moments...but really it's not.  It's composed of the little things, sometimes small and seemingly insignificant, that just for a second are lit so brilliantly that it takes your breath away and then gone forever.


Friday, July 25, 2014

"traveling through"

traveling through
40" x 40" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

This is the second "mountain view" canvas of the week.  I enjoyed bouncing the colors around in the mountains, trees and water.  I have had such fun with these I am ready to go plein air painting in the mountains now!  I just need someone to take me.  I hate to drive through the mountains.....makes me dizzy!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"above the treeline"

above the treeline
36" x 36" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

And whoosh....just like that I have left the beach for the mountains!  Actually just on my easel. (Although I did catch glimpses of the mountains on a trip last weekend).

I just finished two big paintings with mountains this week for one of my galleries.  I usually like to paint from sketches or studies that I have done on location.  I just feel like it gives me a better feel for the subject.  But since these were special requests and I had to have them done this week, I had to do something a little different.

I looked back through my photos to get some inspiration.  I am a fanatical photographer and take a camera everywhere.  I do have a lot of photos with mountains but none of them really spoke to me.  So I sat down and started sketching from my photos.  I pulled different ideas from different photos but both paintings are a compilation of different visual elements that I put together.  In other words.... these paintings are straight from my imagination!  It was a fun exercise!

I painted them both over a two day period.  I love to paint large but it is a lot of physical labor.  I had to ice my shoulder after I was done. But I am happy with the way they turned out so it was worth it!

I will post the second painting tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"evening muse"

evening muse
18" x 24" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Another sunset over the marsh.  Can you tell I am looking forward to going back to the beach in a couple of weeks? It is definitely where my heart is!  It has been too rainy here lately to paint outside so I have logged a lot of hours in my studio.

The bold color and swirling clouds are a challenge.  But then, I guess there is a challenge in every landscape I try to put on canvas.  It is what keeps me coming back to the easel every day. It is interesting to me that no matter how many paintings I have done, I always learn something new or come up against a problem in each and every one.  The gift of learning new things every day, encountering problems and coming up with solutions, and loving your work is such a wonderful thing.  I feel very lucky.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"leaning into the wind"

"leaning into the wind"
30" x 30" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Growing up on the coast, oak trees and wind are both plentiful.  One of those constants of life. To me, an oak represents strength and grace and shelter in a storm. In fact their beauty seems to grow stronger with the passage of each storm that comes their way. An oak welcomes the winds of change and leans into them instead of pulling away.

We all have our "oaks" in our life.  Those people that are our shelter in a storm, the ones we can depend on when the wind is blowing hard. One of my oaks is leaning into the wind right now.

We have only been friends the last eight years but it seems much longer.  She has been a source of strength and grace in my life.  A voice of reason and a trusted ear. A smile that I could always depend on and a calm, gentle spirit that would smooth over even my most ruffled feathers.  She made me a better person.  She is one of those rare souls that can lead others with patience and love. She is looked up to and trusted by so many and there are so many of us that would do anything she would ask.  She is who you want in your corner.  An oak in so many people's lives.

She is facing the fight of her life right now.  I received the news a couple of days ago.  I just can't describe to you how hard it hit me.  She was an almost daily presence in my life for so many years and even though our paths rarely cross anymore, I know she is there just the same. She is just one of those people that is one in a million. Irreplaceable. What do you do when you can't do anything to help? What do you do when all you can do is wait? I do the only thing I know to do.  Paint.

As I painted, my mind wandered into the past.  Her face came to mind and snippets of so many of our conversations with it.  In my mind's eye, I walk into her office and I see her smile, hear her hello and it almost seems real.  And through my sadness and worry, I can feel the calm reassurance, peace and strength that I always felt in her presence. Funny how the mind works.

I know life is a constant state of change.  And the wind can suddenly shift and change directions. But I believe in strong oak trees. I have faith. I know she is leaning into the wind right now.  And I'm doing the only thing I know to do right now. I am leaning into it with her.

Fight hard my dear friend. Get better.  Lean in.  Love you.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

"in full glory"

in full glory
24" x 36" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Sunset over the marsh...can it get any better than that?  Not for me.  This was such a fun painting to work on.  The color and cloud formations were over the top and I just went with it.  Sometimes you just have to hold on tight and go along for the ride :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

sweet georgia browns and las ninas...

I am in a shrimpboat state of mind this week. I was inspired by the light on the boats when I was on the coast a couple of weeks ago.  They are always on the back burner to paint and it seems I never have the time.  So this week I had an open stretch of a couple of days in front of me and I took advantage of it.  I am working on a third painting today...will post it when it's done.

By far the most fun part of painting them is all the "stuff" on the back of the boat.  They all are different.  I knew several shrimper/fishing families growing up and their boats always had such personality to go along with their names.  Just love these boats....they remind me of home.

sweet georgia browns
20" x 24" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is one of my favorite little boats I always see parked at the marina.  It is an old one, small, crusty and rusty and full of personality.

las ninas
20" x 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood