Days Between Stations

Michaela Harlow, Winter Sings a Song to Springtime, in the studioJPG‘Winter Sings a Song to Springtime’ 

Last week was a busy one with garden design work and meetings. I did manage to get in a few walks and sketches, but my painting stations were paused.

Drying time.
Michaela Harlow, Rain at South Pond, in the studio Rain at South Pond, drying time

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches, in the studio Still Life with Frozen Branches, and a roll of canvas awaits priming

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Rain at South Pond, Revisited

Michaela Harlow, Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Panel 32 x 32Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel, 32″ x 32″

Late last summer and into early fall, I made a series of abstract pieces  —graphite, polychromos pencil and pastel on paper— from small field notes made on rainy days at a local pond. I’ve been working on large-scale paintings from that series of sketches, and finished this one up today.

I’ve missed working the square, with all of its quirky challenges. This makes me feel like cutting a few more panels.

Michaela Harlow work on Rain at South Pond Early start and early finish in the studio today. Last oil and graphite gestures on a many-layered piece

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Still Life with Frozen Branches

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches, 2016, Oil and Graphite on 3 x 2 foot panelStill Life with Frozen Branches, 2016, Oil and Graphite on 3′ x 2′ Wood Panel (click all the way through to enlarge image)

Wayward hemlock branches —knocked loose by winter storms— inspire as they emerge within melting, woodland pools. Here and there, bits of the past glimmer in sunlight.

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches in Process

 This piece has more than 5 layers of paint. Methods used include oil wash, painting with brushes, scraping, drawing with graphite and drawing/painting with oil stick.

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Field Notes from Early March

Michaela Harlow, Early March Traverse, Graphite and Soft Pastel on Paper, 15 x 12Early March Traverse, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on 15″ x 12″ Handmade Paper 

Having a really, really, long, steep driveway has many disadvantages in winter. The weather that inspires so much of my work —rain, ice, freeze/thaw, swirling flurries— is the complete enemy of traction. I’ve sanded my driveway more times than I care to count (gathering 8-12 buckets from the town yard and sprinkling by hand as I back up). However, there are distinct advantages. When I’m unable to drive to the top of my hill, I am forced to hike up and down or groom the road; good for my health and excellent for natural observation.

A couple of favorite drawings from the week.

Michaela Harlow, The Light of Spring, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on Paper 15 x 12The Light of Spring, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on 15″ x 12″ Handmade Paper 

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