There are several elements that lend themselves to a mood in a photograph. I used to look for abstract patterns but my final image never added up to my passion or interest.
You can’t fake the inspired image, you can do well with textures, composition, colors and shapes but if the photographer has no interest in his or her subject neither will the viewer.
There are several elements that always find themselves into my work, whether it is painting, photography or even writing.
Nature: Always the center for most of my work, nature is where I get my peace and inspiration from. Nature has always been a comfort and my strength. Recently I have learned not only to find beauty and peace but also the isolation of light and the abstract patterns that continues to interest me.
Abstract Patterns: This is a recent motivation for my art and photography. I am continuing to find where light creates patterns or abstract images out of nature.
I have also learned to find light in the midst of a flat landscape. I isolate nature at it’s simplest form.
I like to keep the image simple and as iconic as possible. The clean empty space is what creates the atmosphere of solitude.
Simplicity: Isolating nature has become a trademark of some of my most recent images and I’m planning on expanding with still life indoor and out.
In the beginning of 2018, with a little bit more freedom, I began to explore more places to find nature. Some of the places I visited are the Cedar Ridge Preserve. I began to seek out any place I could find even a hint of nature and mapped out several wonderful hikes very close to Dallas. For more information on the Cedar Ridge Preserve.
February and March found the artist seeking colors and light and instead I began to discover patterns in nature. I aimed to isolate light and shape even when the light was flat.
Talking with the naturalists I learned about another favorite place of mine, the Parkhill Prairie in Blue Ridge, Texas. It is like going back to a place in history where the wind cries across the pristine planes. I watched hawks sore and songbirds in the native environment-it was a wonderful trip and a need grounding for me. It is a wonderful remnant of the backland prairie.
I finally got to the East Texas Alligator Farm and Park. It was an enjoyable visit and something I have been planning for many years on so many drives out East. I plan on finding those out of the way places and writing and photographing about them.
2018 started off with my decision to quit selling insurance and start doing creative projects full time. It has been a very productive year and the elements of this year will shape the future look and feel of all of my work.
My oils have been a collection of snapshots of the road as I put 50,000 miles on my new vehicle. The images are of the hawk surveying a field and mallards along the side of the road. There are actually 4 or 5 more images that I haven’t even started but are on the list of paintings to create. The images include a tractor, cattle and other country road images.
I finally finished the series of swallows. There are 3 in the series and this final image is the celebration. It is the smallest of the group and yet the most birds, the name of the painting is the celebration because the drought is finally over, it looked as if the swallows were swarming in celebration .
The colors a bit more vivid than in the past as I bridge the gap between realism and impressionism. Future paintings will be more about light and darkness than the image itself. I am also trying to get back to water and the reason why I started painting it in the first place. Back to the basics of clarity and the richness of colors.
I showed for the first time in Opa in Rowlett as of September. I sold one painting and there are 6 paintings still showing until the end of the month. All the new paintings will be included on the website as I move some of the older ones to archive.
I created these pastels again from snapshots on the road. Each one was created within one sitting both from memory and preliminary sketches.
My style has become a bit lighter and more comfortable with details in some places and relief in others. I also blur the image a whole lot less than I used to.
I am excited about finishing up some of the older snapshots and the immediacy of the pastel promises quick rewards. Some of the pastels will probably become larger more defined oils.
January began with a feeling of freedom and exploration. Multiple trips to local nature places brought photography of all different aspects of nature.
Many of these photos have become the initial inspiration for the artist window, which is a collection of objects from nature.
I am more aware of light than I ever have been. On a flat day of gray light with little character, I have learned to isolated objects and find beauty from the bland afternoon sun.
I am also getting more interested in the still life which also lends itself to the artist window series. I have become a collector of leaves, pine cones and even a magnolia seed pod I found.
I am more interested in patterns and colors and the way they react with light. I have also grown more excited about abstract images and am continuing to see abstract patterns in nature.
This is the first installment of 5 more posts that will include travels, writing, contests and more months of photography.
I love gardening, something I’ve been writing about for quite a while. It is the act of dissolving into the silence and intricacies of nature.
Every bud and seedling is a glimmer of hope. I enjoy tending the soil, being active and watching this natural work of sorts become its own.
The garden starts out with seeds and a general idea and from there it becomes what it will be. I used to be a lot less enthusiastic about the summer garden than the spring garden.
The spring would come with ideas and grand hopes for wildlife and a garden I could photograph but once the summer heat kicked in, the garden would go its own way.
All of the weeding and planting would turn into a garden of brown shrivelled up leaves. I think depression has a big thing to do with it as well, all intent and excitement dies with its crippling effects.
This year is different. I’m looking at raising milkweed to sell, yes a weed but the only hope for future monarch butterflies. I am collecting passionvine and dutchmans’ pipe as well and with the addition to the family of a dog named Ranger, suddenly I am outside even in the heat, still plucking weeds, still planting.
It’s amazing how a puppy can take you out of yourself. It’s not about you, it’s about him and the garden is better because of it. As he chews on sticks and rocks, I continue to weed, water and protect.
I’m not sure how long this will last, but I’m excited to see the garden become its own even after the second hottest May. I hope you enjoy a bit of a walk through my garden.
I finally got a chance to paint. It was a stormy afternoon as you can see from the remnants of a swollen stream in the distance.
I got more information and sketched more on a trip to Hagerman where there are always hawks patrolling each fence row. There are a lot of red tailed hawks and I consider them the watchmen of the meadows and fields.
This painting was inspired by a ride in East Texas. I liked the grouping
of the drakes and the females looking on. It was a quick snapshot that turned into a long process of capturing a cool autumn day.
Since I started the painting, there have been many starts and stops. I have also had several times studying mallards at a local park to get the personality and eyes right on the males.
I aim to capture that relationship between characters in nature. When I go and study the ducks, they always know I’m there, they just keep their comfortable distance.
I was also aiming for the dark colors of autumn but the warmth of light on the reeds and the shiny green heads of the males. This is the first in the series, tomorrow I will have another I just finished: A hawk from a fence near Hagerman Wildlife Refuge.
This is the amazing butterfly that will visit your garden when you plant Dutchman’s Pipe or Aristolochia vine. Even without the welcome visitor it is an easy and very interesting vine to grow.
This is the Caterpillar that will devour every bit of the plants you have but they grow back quickly. They look a bit like slugs but if you study them closer they are quite beautiful in their own right.
Let’s get back to the plant which has its’ own unique qualities. The reason they call them Dutchman’s Pipe vines is because the flowers are very strange and exotic and look much like a dutchmans pipe.
This is the White-Veined Dutchman Pipevine-it is a ground cover that will come back every year in Texas and reseeds itself quite easily. The smell of the leaves are very strong.
There are several different types of vines but be wary of the Aristolochia Gigantea-it is a beautiful flower and dramatic bloom but it supposedly will kill the caterpillars, if you grow them just make sure you keep them away from butterflies seeking to lay their eggs.
The next plant is the sunflower which is not only a host plant but easy to grow from seed and a dramatic addition to any landscape.
Every visit to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas, Texas is a chance to learn more about raptors and the Blackland Prairie. What always strikes me is the fact that young children already know about terms like diurnal and nocturnal and are interested in learning more about the birds.
The plant is named Passiflora after the passion of Christ, there are a lot of symbolism with the parts of the flower, the stigmata represent the three nails and the 5 anthers below them the wounds. The sharp tips of the leaves, the lance, the tendrils the flagellation of Christ and the ten pedals and sepals the loyal apostles. Read more
They won’t overtake your yard or destroy a fence. I have had the blue variety come back every spring with a heavier base, I would think if it grew well enough it could destroy a fence but I’ve never had any problems with them.
The smell of the flowers. The blooms are not only dramatic and odd, they smell like sweet candy and each species has its own unique flavor. The thorny larvae of the gulf and variegated fritillaries will devour the stands of the plant but that’s why I grow plants for the wildlife.
They are Good for Bees. Attracting bees could be a good or bad aspect of raising a plant. I always welcome them and never have been stung while treating them with due respect.
The abundant flowers are many different colors and they will cover an area in the yard with beautiful blooms through the summer. I would highly recommend this plant because its easy and needs little care. The native purple, (incense and incarnate), blue (cerulean) and some hybrids will come back after a mild winter and will grow in most places with an abundance of light.
I will have a whole new collection this year and many more photos.
Next is the Dutchmans Pipe-be patient if you plant it, they will come.
My latest series of projects have been finding rich colors and textures from ordinary objects. When viewed in a different light and in a unique setting, even ordinary fruit takes on a new and more attractive presence.
Artbygordon: Original oils on canvas, Original pastels on paper celebrating the beauty and mystery of nature. Water and night skies are my specialties.