About the Painting

A tall challenge

I am fortunate to be part of a group of gifted artists that meets monthly to support, encourage, and challenge one another. We’ve structured the “challenge” part of our activities this way: each month a different group member throws out a prompt that everyone responds to during that month. The challenge prompt is usually a word or a phrase, like “flowers” or “water” or “self-portrait.” Once it was a photo of broken shingles. Betsy’s roof was being replaced as the result of a particularly impressive hailstorm that had moved through the North Texas region. You can see how this monthly exercise might stretch one’s imagination a bit.

17388 TallTale-lo

Tall Tale was my response to the challenge prompt, “a story told,” dreamed up and tossed out there by Heidi. Since I focus on creating abstract and non-objective work, this might not seem like a fit. Oh, that’s right. That’s why it’s called a “challenge!”

My thinking process went something like this: Story. A story is a tale. Tales are often embellished and exaggerated. Tall. I reach for a tall canvas. (This one’s 12” x 36”.) Next come sketches where I play with symbols and patterns to weave a narrative. Settling on a water/desert/heat theme, I can just hear those haunting Native American flutes in the background.

17388 TallTale-Detail-1-lo

I render the patterns and symbols first. I want a progression, a story arc, so to speak, so my paint goes from the cool blues of water at the bottom, through the parched tans and ochres of the desert, up to the heat of the gold and copper sun. Splatters of orange red and blue energize the scene. Are they raindrops? Locusts? Birds? Arrows? You fill in the details, because that’s the viewer’s role and privilege.

Tall Tale is 12” x 36” mixed media on gallery-wrapped canvas. See it in a contextual photo on the Mid-Sized Paintings page. Contact me if you’d like to give it or any of my other paintings a good home.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt
Standard
About the Painting

Looking Westward

16371 LookingWestward-lores

The visual effects of corrosion fascinate me. The textures of rusty metal, peeling paint and weathered wood are delicious to my eyes. I’ve tried to bring this concept into a number of my paintings, experimenting with different ways to achieve it. (You can see it in Crosswise, for example.)

With Looking Westward, the dominant colors of rust red and turquoise emit a southwestern vibe. I keep the palette limited and the composition simple. To create the random tactile quality of the surface, I use a putty knife and plastic food wrap, two items I keep handy in my studio. A layer of red oxide goes on over the texture first, followed by a complete covering of lightened turquoise.

When the turquoise layer is dry to the touch, I use blue painter’s tape to mask off the areas I want to remain untouched in the next step. I’m about to do some damage here, but remember what I said about corrosion? The exposed areas get a wet sandpaper treatment, leaving a wonderful random pattern that is influenced by the texture. When I remove the tape, I’m pleased to see that the ridges and bumps keep the edges rough and imperfect, achieving a natural, worn effect. To unify the overall painting and to bump up the surface interest, I fling splatters of pale turquoise and dark brown paint on the canvas and call it done.

Looking Westward evokes the feeling in me of looking through what is near toward what is far away. I hope you enjoy looking at it too.

This painting is 12”x12” acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas. If you need help visualizing how it might look in your home or office, you can see it in context here. Contact me if you’d like to give it or any of my other paintings a good home.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt
Standard
About the Painting

A Penny’s Worth of Sparrows

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo

I’ve long been a fan of embossing, a process I used in my graphic design days to raise a logo from the paper’s background on business cards and letterheads. It’s a classy look with a tactile element, one I enjoyed creating for my clients. But how could I achieve a similar effect with paint and canvas?

About a dozen paintings ago, I stumbled onto hot glue as a means to create a raised line or shape. I applied it in My Jupiter, Heartstrings, Prevailing Winds, and a few others. Okay, there was my beloved embossed look! So as I plan this new painting, hot glue raises its sticky hand, volunteering as the go-to medium for rendering the stylized tree that almost fills the large canvas. I plug in the glue gun and start drawing with it. No turning back now!

With the tree complete, I divide the canvas into three unequal sections. At first, each section is well defined, but I don’t want them to stay that way. I blend layers and layers of paint, and with each application, I come closer to the blurry transitions I want. Quinacridone red violet, turquoise, and Pacific blue play well with each other, their coolness contrasting well with the warm ecrus and oranges above the horizon. Metallics play a strong supporting role in this painting, adding not just a silvery surface sheen, but a depth as well.

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo-detail-1

My image transfer birds cooperate nicely as I bond them to the canvas. The painting feels almost finished, but a little, well, naked. Splatters in compatible colors do the job and clothe the canvas with its final layer.

17387 APenny'sWorthOfSparrows-lo-detail-2

Titles can be challenging, but with a little searching, I found this passage from Matthew 10:19: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” A comforting message.

A Penny’s Worth of Sparrows was created using acrylic paint, hot glue, and image transfer on a 40” x 40” gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in context here, along with the two other paintings in the series thus far.

Contact me if you’d like to give this or any of my other paintings a good home. I can also produce museum-quality gicleé prints of some of my larger pieces. They come at a lower price than the original, and are available in sizes 36” x 36”, 30” x 30”, and 24” x 24”.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt
Standard
About the Painting

Dove in Mourning

17385 DoveInMourning-lo

Second in a series of paintings featuring birds, Dove in Mourning includes a silhouette of, yes, a mourning dove, a bird common to Texas. If I pay attention, I can hear their sweet cooing all day long, but they are especially vocal in the morning. They seem to love the tall bur oak trees next to my house, and sometimes set up residence in the rose arbor sheltering my front gate.

The title of this canvas came when a friend said it looked like the bird was shedding happy tears. True, mourning is not a joyful process, but the tears are a necessary part of grieving, and a step in the journey toward healing and joy.

As with most of my paintings, texture is my starting point. Here I chose to develop tension between the direction of the texture and the direction of the paint. The texture has a horizontal thrust, but as I applied color, the paint took a mostly vertical character. I like how it skips over the grooves, creating a vibrant, unrehearsed surface.

17385 DoveInMourning-WP-Detail-2

This painting, like others in the series, has a high horizon line with the bird placed comfortably on that line. Above the horizon, textures disappear, smooth out, and give some respite from the thicket below. Red orange streaks and dots move the eye around the canvas and provide warmth against the cool grays. Splatters in red orange, white, and Payne’s gray animate the surface.

17385 DoveInMourning-WP-detail-1

Dove in Mourning was created using acrylic paint and image transfer on a 40” x 40” deep gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in context here, along with the two other paintings in the series thus far.

Contact me if you’re interested in making this or any of my paintings your own. I can also produce museum-quality gicleé prints, available at a lower cost than the original. Prints are available in sizes 36” x 36”, 30” x 30”, and 24” x 24”.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt


 

Standard
About the Painting

Birds on a Wet Lawn

17384 BirdsOnAWetLawn-lo

Birds on a Wet Lawn is first in a series of large paintings featuring birds on a high horizon line. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve included an objective element in an otherwise non-objective piece. I’ve explored the subject of birds in the past, and you can probably count on a re-appearance from time to time.

There are so many reasons to include birds in a painting—their beauty, their freedom in flight, their uninhibited motion, their oneness with the environment. In this case though, I believe I was expressing a memory.

I’m careful to keep my lawn organic, not wanting chemicals endangering the pets and people who enjoy my yard, or to drain into our soil and water. So one of the organic products used to keep the grass healthy is molasses. Yes, molasses, in a pellet form. When this aromatic product is applied to the lawn, there’s a delightful gathering of neighborhood birds of all kinds, enjoying a fragrant feast. It’s a small memory, but a pleasant one, that is captured here.

Now for my process. As usual, I applied the texture first, with mostly random horizontal grooves, with some concentric arcs interspersed throughout the lower three-quarters of the design. The paint follows the texture in places, but in others, it skips across like a stone across the water. You’ll see the effect when you examine closely.

17384 BirdsOnAWetLawn-lo-detail-3

The birds themselves were originally created from stamps that I carve out of rubber. For this painting, I took that technique a step farther by stamping the images, scanning them into my computer, printing them out, then using an image transfer method to apply them to the canvas.

17384 BirdsOnAWetLawn-lo-detail-1

Green shades and tints are predominant, enhanced with deep blues, turquoise, and some yellow and white. The upper portion has a hazy effect, with white raining down over the birds. The entire painting is finished with red, orange, and blue splatters.

Birds on a Wet Lawn is 40” x 40” on deep gallery-wrapped canvas, wired and ready to hang. You can see it in context here, along with the two other paintings currently in the series. I’ll write about them in future posts.

Contact me if you’re interested in owning this or any of my other paintings. I can also make museum quality prints of Birds on a Wet Lawn available at a lower cost, and in several sizes smaller than the original.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt


 

Standard
About the Painting

Moon Over Canyon

16342 MoonOverCanyon-lores

Canyons are imposing, mysterious, sometimes intimidating spaces that leave me in awe of the power and wonder of nature. Moon Over Canyon is my attempt to express the experience of being deep in the gorge, looking up to see a silvery blue full moon.

I expressed the tactile character of the canyon wall by playing with a variety of textures– smooth against rough, vertical and crisscross against horizontal and curved, strands of twine near raised circles. The red, orange, ocher, and rust hues of the ravine sing next to a hazy orb of a moon hanging in an arc of midnight sky. I finish off the painting with animating splatters, bringing to mind the life that pulses deep in the canyon.

Moon Over Canyon is 48” x 30” on gallery-wrapped canvas. You can see it in a contextual photo here. Check out the FAQ page to learn how you may purchase this or any of my paintings.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

Standard
About the Painting

My Jupiter

16382 MyJupiter-lo

Where does inspiration come from? Just about anywhere! A texture seen on a nature walk. The swirl of water as it goes down the drain. A rusted-out pickup. Really, anywhere.

In the case of My Jupiter, the inspiration came when my friend Sharon tagged me on Facebook with an image of the planet Jupiter as seen from one of the poles. She said it reminded her of one of my paintings. That was enough to get me going!

I had no intention of creating one of those typical black-space-with-lots-of-swirls paintings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it just wasn’t a direction that felt authentic to me. I was aiming for more of an earthy (uh, Jupitery?) mandala-like feel.

I started by laying down texture in a circular, very organic pattern that had some of the interesting variations I saw in the original Jupiter image. Everything rotates around a pole and shows the effects of that movement, but the farther away from the center, the more the relationship to the center disintegrates.

16382 MyJupiter-Detail-4-lo

Metallic colors—copper, gold, bronze—with green and ocher create an atmospheric yet down-to-earth appearance to the painting. Layers of glazes give it depth. And the final splatters streak across the canvas to suggest the motion of the universe.

16382 MyJupiter-Detail-1-lo

My Jupiter is 20” x 20” on gallery-wrapped canvas, wired and ready to hang. You can see it in a contextual photo here. From March 25 (Gallery Night) through April, My Jupiter is available at Upstairs Gallery, 1038 W. Abram Street in Arlington, TX.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt


 

Standard