Tag Archives: Contemporary Landscape Painting

Stark Mountain

Stark_Mountain_Michaela_Harlow_www.michaelaharlow.comStark Mountain, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″ 

Some of New England’s backroads have surprisingly accurate names. More a twisting, ragged trail than a meandering country drive, Stark Mountain Road seems particularly well defined on a cold, November day. Sharp, ledgy outcrop meets boney tree line against grey sky, bramble and biting wind.

I broke with my series today, inspired by a wintry drive.

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Autumn Rain


Autumn Rain, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″

O R I G I N A L    S O L D     –    A R C H I V A L    P R I N T S     A V A I L A B L E

I started on this piece yesterday afternoon —all luminous grey, turquoise and ochre— and thought about it while my coffee brewed this morning. Even at 7am, it was still too dark to begin painting. It feels like the daylight hours are slipping away, and it creates a certain kind of urgency in me. I feel compelled to begin work as early as possible. In summer, I’m up by 5am. These days, I’m dragging out of bed into the 6am darkness.

I’m a tangle of emotion today.

IMG_0144-0.JPG Darker when wet, one of the tricks to working with fixative is knowing when the saturation of color is right. Today I found a pleasing balance and walked away.

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Jasper Brook

IMG_9340.JPG Jasper Brook, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Coldpress, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″

A friend recently asked me if I am inspired by other artists’ work. Always. In fact, most of my close friends are artists and craftspeople, though few are painters. Lately, I am most inspired by three-dimensional artists; particularly those working in earthy materials such as clay, metal, wood and stone.

I am also deeply inspired by music. Guitar is my favorite instrument, and although I am partial to acoustic guitar compositions, I have an eclectic collection. Recently I stumbled upon Michigan artist Brandon McCoy, and I’ve been listening to his music for the past couple of weeks. I am particularly fond of ‘Luciole’, though it’s hard to choose a favorite.

IMG_9339.JPG In the studio with autumn’s hues in a swirl

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Weatherhead Hollow

IMG_8639.JPGWeatherhead Hollow, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Coldpress, Deckle Edge Paper 20″ x 16″

When driving back to my Vermont studio on autumn mornings, I’m inclined to take more circuitous routes than I do on summer days. Perhaps this is because I love a foggy landscape, and backroads are less traveled. I can pull over most anywhere and not get in the way of traffic. Sometimes I will stumble my way through a half mile of bramble to get a look at light on a flooded meadow. Such are the delightful things you can get away with on solo-drives, when no one is waiting impatiently in the car.

Weatherhead Hollow.


Weatherhead Hollow, in process

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