Monthly Archives: July 2014

Seven Summers ll

20140730-114916-42556279.jpgSeven Summers II, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Paper, 10″ x 15″

I missed my Monday post. Did you notice? I’ve been spending some time with family and friends over the past few days. But, I’m still working on this new series and larger oil paintings as well.

It feels like the summer is going by quickly. Does it feel that way to you, too?

20140730-112841-41321942.jpg Seven Summers II, in progress

 

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Seven Summers

20140725-141826-51506612.jpg Seven Summers, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Paper, 10″ x 15″

I started on some new oil paintings today, but it will be awhile before the washes dry. In meantime I had an idea for some small pieces that I will be offering at a special price next month. I’m calling this the ‘Seven Summers’ series. This is the first in a group of —surprise, surprise— seven pastels on very rough, 140# weight, cold press watercolor paper. I’ll post them up randomly for now, and will offer them for sale at the special price throughout the month of August.

And it’s another incredibly beautiful day . . .The kind you want to bottle and open up in late March or early April when the land is gray and the weather is cruel. I think I’ll go for a walk and let the warmth and sunlight sink deep down into my bones.

20140725-141849-51529960.jpg Seven Summers in progress

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Wilde Meadow

20140724-164815-60495079.jpg Wilde Meadow, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Deckle-Edged Paper, 16″ x 20″ 

I like the phrase ‘country neighbor’. Out here, in the foothills of the Green Mountains, all of my neighbors are country neighbors; which is to say, they aren’t at all close in terms of proximity. In fact, you’d hardly say they’re next door. Country neighbors are people who live in the area, but they might be quite far away. Actually, now that I stop to think about it, I believe that all of my neighbors are at least a mile away.

When I go for a run, I sometimes pass the Wilde Farm. No, that’s not a misspelling, that’s a family name . . .Wilde . . .I rather like it. The Wilde place is a beautiful, old New England homestead, with a white farmhouse and a weathered barn. The open valley in which the property sits is cut through by a wide, stoney brook that looks more like a western creek, and the meadow is surrounded by steep hills of blue-green conifer. They’re late in haying this year —perhaps because of our unsettled, stormy weather— and I’ve loved watching the tall grass sway as I zip by in the early morning haze of  late July.

20140724-164845-60525151.jpg On the worktable today, in the thick of a dusty haze 

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Sound of a Coming Storm

20140723-185639-68199385.jpg Sound of a Coming Storm, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Deckle Edged Paper, 16″ x 20″

Oh how I love these summer days. Heavy air, charged with electricity. A horizon blurred by thick, July haze. Golden fields still-to-be mown. And then, in late afternoon, blades of grass begin to stir. The sky darkens. Anticipation. Sound of a coming storm.

20140723-191334-69214677.jpg A bit of process today. How it usually begins is with a sketch on this heavy-weight, cold-press watercolor paper. It’s for more than watercolor, you know. The paper has great tooth and can handle heavy fixative use.

20140723-191357-69237269.jpg And another shot. Drawing lines back into damp pigment after rubbing them out with stump and palette knife and fingers. So many layers. I lost count. But there are windows back to the base. If you look closely, you can see them. And of course, not too heavy. Not too opaque. I try to always preserve some transparency in places to keep it luminous.

20140723-191615-69375943.jpg

  Fan whirring above the work table today. Hot, humid and storms on the horizon.

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