Sunday, June 7, 2009

I have been working on this painting for a couple weeks or more, and hope to wrap it up soon. I have loved seeing it evolve and come to life as I patiently apply the paint. I am painting on hardboard (formerly known as Masonite) which is made of wood fiber bound with steam and pressure. More wood! I apply 4 coats of white acrylic gesso as smoothly as possible, sand it, then put on a wash of burnt sienna. That is what make the orange color you see on the unpainted portions of this painting. It gives a warmth to the finished painting.

Over the many hours I've sat before this painting working on it I've thought a lot about the forest, pine trees, maple trees, leaf litter, Mount Mansfield, Bill Torrey and his dog, the work he does, how he sharpens his saw, forwarders, machinery in the woods, what it means to be an environmentalist, what the future might bring to our forests with global warming and continuing development pressure. It's endless. I lose track of time and my thoughts go between the qualities of ultramarine blue and burnt umber and birch trees and golden labrador retrievers! All that psychic energy has to go somewhere...

While I've been working on this painting I have listened a lot to a CD called Vision of Hills by the Vermont composer Gwyneth Walker. I love her music. She talks about the inspiration and beauty of our Vermont hills and makes her music speak about that. I listen while I paint a picture of our Vermont hills and mountains and people working in those hills and feel that the beauty I strive to create is amplified and fed by the beauty of Walker's music. The title track on the CD is my current favorite, though the Craftbury piece is gorgeous, too.


  1. Kathleen,
    Your work of my Vermont is wonderful - always with incredible light. I was delighted to see you are part of the Arts of Action project and look forward to seeing these new pieces.
    Thank you,
    Mame McKee, Duxbury

  2. Mame, I don't know if we've met, but I'm delighted to have your feedback on this blog! I hope the paintings I'm doing for this project will speak to you as my work has in the past. Please be in touch.