Paintings of Maltese boats, paintings of the Malta coastline, the Maltese falcon, the beautiful caves ready to be explored: These are the things that I dreamed of painting! I had the good fortune to travel to Malta (and some other wonderful places-but that’s for another day) this summer, and it did NOT disappoint!
Malta is the type of place artists dream of, but rarely get to see. I am fortunate to have gone. I did however, have to travel with a very large group of people through another country for a week before we made it to Malta. Even in Malta, it was a daily “journey” of sorts. It is always a challenge for people who are not artists to travel with those of us who are. For example: I want to stop and look at the buildings where the light is hitting just perfectly, or in the garden with the beautiful shadows and brightly colored flowers, or take dozens of photos of the tip of just one boat. As you can imagine, it must be annoying to them. So I had to balance my desire to paint/photograph, take in sights. Most of my photos were done while in motion-sort of a bouncing camera while walking type of shots. I mean, this trip was not actually all about me. Bummer.
One of the places I wanted to go most of all was Marsaxlokk. It is a lovely fishing village-and was on the top of my “must do” list. Unfortunately I only got to spend about 2 hours there, and wouldn’t you know it, it was overcast for 1 hour and 45 of those minutes. Artists and photographers…do you feel my pain?
Well, in the span of those 2 hours I took over 800 photos-so I was not gonna let a sky full of clouds stop me!
I want to share with you some of the photos of Malta that might give you a hint of what inspired me, and then a few of the freshest paintings off my easel:
Now for some paintings:
Thanks so much for reading and looking. I hope you will consider having one of these paintings in your home!
This painting is one of several from my trip to Texas and Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park. The scenery at Big Bend was rugged, western and simply meant to be painted. The landscape is dramatic and bigger than life and full of “nooks and crannies” that pose an interesting challenge for painting. There is no doubt that you are in the west and there doesn’t seem to be a change from the technical US to Mexico-it is just ONE incredible area with no beginning or ending. For those who like that type of place, well there are simply thousands of paintings waiting to be painted. I am happy to offer one of mine to you today. This particular painting is a bit of a change for me in that it appears more abstract at first. Honestly, I love that about it.
If you want to see the other paintings as I share them please go to the”contact” page on my website and subscribe to my blog for a notification of the new paintings.
This painting is now framed and available to view in person at Waverly Artists Group Gallery and Studio in Cary N.C. or you may contact me directly to arrange to purchase. It is available for 175.00.
A girl and her horse: a new painting by Beth Carrington Brown
This painting of a woman grooming her horse is one of my new favorites. I was standing in the barn with my good friend (the woman) at the end of the day working with her horses. The sun was setting, and it was gorgeous outside and the light streamed into the barn. I could not have asked for a prettier moment. In addition to the glorious light and shadow and beautiful shapes of color I saw as an artist, was this very special relationship between the woman and her horse. Grooming isn’t a “chore” to her, it is a time of pleasure, almost like a gift from God to her and the horse. It is not something she rushes through, but something she carefully takes her time doing. It is almost like time has slowed down on purpose. Perhaps because when the grooming is over she must go back home. The peaceful time with her horses is coming to an end, and she does not want it to. The connection she shares with these beautiful equines is so real it is almost palpable. It is amazing to watch someone like this with these incredible powerful animals. The trust and relationships are real and valuable. It was a pleasure to be with her and all of her horses, but truly an honor to paint this moment.
This painting of reading by the window in afternoon light-is a good example of something I like to do when I’m not painting. I was moved by the light coming through the window, and of course the peaceful feeling the scene provides.
This 5 x 7 painting is framed and available for 95.00 at Waverly Artists Group and Gallery in Cary, NC (www.waverlyartistsgroup.com) and also can be viewed at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/beth-carrington-brown-3155/artwork
This interior/dog painting is named “Cody on the Couch”. Cody is a sweet dog that used to live across the street but moved with his family to Oklahoma. On a recent visit to Cody (and his wonderful human family) I was struck by his sweetness, sleepy face and of course the beautiful light streaming in through the window. I adore all things with light and shadow and of course I love painting “fur babies” such as this one! This painting 8 x 10 is nicely framed and hanging at Waverly Artists Group and Gallery, Waverly Place in Cary NC. www.waverlyartistsgroup.com, or you can see it along with some other paintings of mine at www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/beth-carrington-brown-3155/artwork
Today I am sharing one of the Bison / Buffalo paintings called “Thoughtful Buffalo”. This is a gorgeous buffalo from Texas who I had the pleasure of meeting in person. The sweet looking creature in the painting really is a large and somewhat intimidating creature. However, in this shot I saw a softer side, perhaps more thoughtful side, during that one moment in time. I wanted to capture that and share it in a painting.
Painting Bison, or the American Buffalo, is a relatively new thing for me. However, I am so happy to have had the opportunity to meet with these creatures face to face. It would be hard to think of a mammal more symbolic of our nation than the Bison. Buffalo are considered the largest mammal in North America. If there was any doubt in my mind, it was erased the day that we met them. Eek!
This painting is called “Buffalo Crossing” it is a nice smaller painting, size 8 x 10.
Check out my newest paintings, a series on Buffalo, aka the American Bison:
This fall was one filled with travel, mostly out west: Utah, (western) Texas and Oklahoma. The panoramic landscapes, of Texas and Oklahoma, the steep trails and amazing colors of Utah-all exceeded my expectations. The desire to paint “the American West” was set, like someone lit a fire under me! The beautiful animals, such as the American Bison, cattle, horses, and even a very special donkey, named “Radar” have captured my attention and are all being painted in my studio back home in North Carolina. Sadly, I couldn’t paint everything “plain air”, but was able to sketch, make color references and photograph to supplement my live experiences.
Part of my trip was for a commission (will post soon) I received to paint some beautiful buffalo in Texas. Not just any old wondering West Texas Bison, but there was a specific herd, and hope to paint the clients “favorite” buffalo.
The buffalo’s name is “Baby”, but don’t let that fool you! “Baby weighs in at about 3,000 lbs. He also can run about 40 miles per hour, not bad for such a big guy!
We got to see them first from a great distance (which was good, it was wise to “ease in”). Then, we were privileged to get up close and personal, even feeding a couple of them a treat. This particular herd does “live off the land”, but is used to a few particular human beings. The caretaker of this beautiful herd was kind enough to take my children and I for this up close visit. Even though they knew the caretaker, It took quite some time for them to get even a little comfortable with 2 of my tween boys bouncing up and down with excitement.
(scroll down for images of the some of the these beautiful creatures)
I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to interact with these amazing animals, and look forward to sharing the actual commissioned piece and other studies I did in future entries.
A special shout out to Rick and Cindy Langford, along with “Doc” for the very special journey of painting this incredible herd.
Recently I had a chance to share a meal and chat with the well respected artist and teacher : John Poon.
John Poon is a master of the naturalistic landscape painting-done in the true plain air tradition. Beyond that he is the most incredible teacher of art-gifted beyond words.
I have been fortunate to study with him several times, but felt even more privileged to sit down with him and my list of questions. Knowing that he works with the highest level of professional artists in his classes (that keep coming back to him for more) I had to ask what he felt was the number one area that students and well seasoned artists alike struggle with:
Turns out it isn’t just one thing but that we all share similar struggles in the a variety of areas.
It all boils down to things he has told me before (several times) and that many of us “know” and could possibly teach verbally to others, but often lack in our own work. While he and I talked a long time, it comes down to the basics: Our paintings can totally rock if we use our ability to:
Have a range of 3-5 simple value shapes
Have one strong focal point
Have either light or shadow dominant in your painting.
Does this mean that you can’t have a great painting without these things? No. Of course great art is judged by the individual, and we all have our own personal tastes,-but if you are shooting for anything on the side of “representational” or perhaps heading towards non-representational-it certainly doesn’t hurt to think these things through.
How many times has artist Catherine Martin told me these things? I can’t even count that high. Sounds simple right? It does, but no one said that simple was easy.
These areas that John spoke about come from his knowledge, background and belief in the classical principles of art education. Many great artists do not have the opportunity to study and/or learn such traditional groundings, and we can make it hard on ourselves as we make our own way. Now I am a big believer of breaking the rules (really, just ask my mother) , but I do see the benefit of at least KNOWING the rules that you are getting ready to tear up and break down.
So, if you are one of those folks who know the things that John Poon has mentioned, but are still struggling to implement it in your daily paintings, what to do?
Well, my first suggestion is go take a class from John (if you can get into one), but in the meantime he suggested that you have a check list on areas of emphasis that you want to review for yourself during/after you think your painting is done. He also has a really great DVD available that I have and recommend-available on his website.
One of the books he has often referenced is Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting. http://www.amazon.com/Carlsons-Guide-Landscape-Painting-Carlson/dp/0486229270
You can see John’s work and check on his workshop schedule by going to his website: www.johnpoon.com.
In part two of my time with John Poon I will share some of his personal favorites with you (artists, play lists) and more!