Monthly Archives: October 2014

Kettle Hole Bog

IMG_0854.JPGKettle Hole Bog, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″ 

Kettle Holes are geological features formed when chunks of glacial ice separate from the main flow by breaking off and subsequently melting. New England has many ponds, swamps and bogs that originally formed in this manner, during the glacial age. I love exploring wetlands in autumn and the kettle hole bogs in Western Massachusetts —particularly those surrounded by wild laurel, native azalea and brilliant red, highbush blueberry— are some of my favorites haunts at this time of year. The combination of blue-green algae, red to rust foliage and watery reflections provides great inspiration.

IMG_0844.JPG In the studio with turquoise and rusty red reflections

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Grey Garden

IMG_0823.JPGGrey Garden , 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″ 

 Yesterday afternoon, I had my annual meltdown about the diminishing daylight hours. This seasonal temper tantrum is actually a couple weeks past due. I do not like these dark mornings, but I also realize that as soon as the clocks fall back, we’ll be sacrificing the afternoon. There’s no way to win this. I accept the coming cold and snow, but natural light is key to my work; losing it makes me testy!

I spent my rainy, morning hours working outside yesterday. There are many chores to finish before winter and I’ve fallen behind. It was a productive day in the garden, but I paid the price in studio time. This piece was near finished when darkness ended my day. Growl. The grumpy artist retreats to her wood stove and pours a glass of red wine. It was 7:30am before I could start my day in the studio and complete my work. Time to rethink the schedule and create winter studio hours.

IMG_0809.JPG A grey day out in the garden is even more grey inside the studio

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September Waters II, Deckle Edged Print Giveaway

September Waters II, 2014 Signed, Deckle Edged, Archival Print of ‘September Waters II’, on William Turner Paper

Winner of the print give away is: Robin Dutcher. Congratulations Robin! 

As a gesture of my thanks and appreciation to all who entered & submitted suggestions for images, but did not win, I am sending out packets of cards later this month, as soon as they come in. If you’d like to receive an envelope of cards, please email me your postal address. Thank you so much! Michaela

A first, sample run of beautiful, new, deckle edged prints have just arrived from Panopticon Imaging, and to celebrate I’m giving one away! But I’m going to ask a favor. I need some help deciding on an image for my run of postcards. What are your four most favorite pieces to date (pastel or oil or any other work)? Leave your suggestions for my promotional cards in comments, on this post, by midnight EST, October 31st. I will draw a winner on November 2nd, and announce here on the studio journal and elsewhere on social media. Want to double your chances of winning a ‘September Waters II’ print? Get your name entered twice by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest or Instagram, and let me know that you did when you comment here on this post!

You can see my most recent work by simply scrolling down through this journal and you see older work by clicking on the ‘Work on Paper’ & ‘Work on Panel’ pages, listed at the top of this page (I update those pages every couple of months).

This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!

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Twice Considered

IMG_0553.JPG Twice Considered, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″

When working on a painting, I am constantly moving and spinning the piece around. Shifting the orientation helps me to work areas with tools and manage layers. Turning the paper will also —sometimes anyway— alter the final composition. This tends to happen more often when the painting begins with a focus on geometric shapes; in this case, leaves.

IMG_0552.JPGProcess. Process. Process. Not quite where I wanted it, but close. Turning back to where I started.

With this piece, I began with a very detailed drawing, which I then proceeded to obscure with six or seven layers of pastel and then ‘destroy’ with wire combs and bread knives. After applying a heavy coat of fixative, I continued the process of destruction, using a palette knife to smear more chunks of pastel and wayward dust. After the mutilation was complete, I spun the piece around one final time, painted areas back in with palette knife and stump, and coated the entire piece with a gauze of white. Finished? Not quite. I reconsidered and turned it on its head again. There, that’s the way I see it.

Sometimes you make up your mind. Then you change your mind. Then you end up back where you started.


Twice considered

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