About the Painting

Dove in Mourning

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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.

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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.

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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

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About the Painting

Birds on a Wet Lawn

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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.

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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.

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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


 

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About the Painting

Moon Over Canyon

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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

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About the Painting

My Jupiter

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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.

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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.

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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


 

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About the Painting

Elements of Time

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If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that the high horizon line is a favorite compositional approach for me. I used it again in Elements of Time. As the title suggest, I was drawn to the visual effect of time, weather, and age on surfaces. Texture, of course, is always an element in my paintings, and a close-up examination rewards you with a worn lusciousness that begs to be touched.

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Elements of Time is composed of many layers of earthy colors and glazes that enhance the painting’s depth. Above the horizon are layers of paler tones built on one of my favorite materials, gauze (detail below), anchored underneath with an irregular row of gold vertical raised “rods” that march across the division between dark and light. Splatters in red orange, blue, and ecru complete the composition. I used my favorite square format, which creates a sense of stability.

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Elements of Time is painted on a 20 x 20 gallery-wrapped deep 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

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About the Painting

Hey, what time is it?

This post will focus on a series of small paintings I call the Time of Day. Small and intimate, these four paintings are my expression of the range of atmosphere and emotion I have felt as the day moves through its various moods.

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Midnight: dark and mysterious with the Milky Way reigning over the night sky, evoking a sense of wonder.

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Morning: full of hope, dewy, lush and green, pale sunshine casting an optimistic glow as I rise, sip a cup of coffee, and start my day.

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Midday: hot summer sun climbing into the sky, swirling solar storms washing out the barely blue dome, sending me to the fridge for something cool.

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Sundown: Riotous colors over a serene landscape, memories of the grassy rolling plains of Central Texas and an end to my chores for the day before heading inside for supper and homework.

Each painting was created using acrylic paint on a 12” x 12” standard canvas, and is wired ready to hang. They can be arranged as shown in context here, in a square configuration, but other arrangements are equally effective. You decide! Learn how to purchase this series or any painting of your choice on the FAQ page.

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

 

 

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About the Painting

Leaves letting go

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Last Leaves celebrates the intersection of fall and winter, the remnants of warmth greeting the waning light of winter, and the prospect of a wintry mix in the forecast. The leaves that have hung on for dear life at last release their color and their grip with a sigh. A jumble of manmade characters intrudes; it reminds me of the urban streets in my Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood that benefit so much from the gift of shade during our intense summers.

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The background is largely a soft, wintry gray, with bursts of amped-up yellow. Wet-sanded leaf shapes reveal the faded turquoise, red, and orange underneath, and strips of vintage maps. The energy in the change in weather is expressed with a layer of splatters in white, turquoise, and black.

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Last Leaves is painted using acrylics/mixed media on a 24” x 24” standard wrapped canvas. You can see it in context in the Mid-Sized Paintings section here, and learn how to purchase this or the painting of your choice on the FAQ page.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

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About the Painting

Ocean wetness

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Ocean colors dominate Deep Water, with deep blues, sky blues, aquas and turquoises, blended with watery greens that all cooperate to immerse the viewer into the ebb and flow. Strips of topographical ocean maps collaged into the painting reinforce the wetness with their torn edges and shades of aqua.

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I created a highly textured section at the bottom that brings to mind the mystery of the ocean floor. The top section recalls the docks and piers made by human hands. If you look closely, you will see wave shapes I stamped into the design on handmade paper for a whimsical note. I think of them as a treat for those who take the time to dive into the experience of this painting. Final splatters of red, white, pale blue, and almost black blues offer the vitality that creatures contribute to the life of the sea.

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In planning a painting with water as the subject matter, I wanted to get beyond literal repetition of wave shapes. Each flowing form is different from the next, creating an overall impression of pattern, but with the constant change of  pattern elements. All this was developed over an underlying structure of textural marks that I find a necessary element in my work.

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We human beings seek out bodies of water. Rivers, lakes, ponds, oceans, even puddles, are places where we renew out souls. This tall, narrow painting creates the opportunity to dive deep into peace, cleansing, and regeneration. It’s well-suited to inhabit a narrow vertical space in your home or office, and to remind you of your favorite ocean dreams and seaside memories.

Deep Water is an acrylics/mixed media painting, 20” x 60” on gallery-wrapped canvas. See it in context here, and learn about the purchase process on the FAQ page.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

 

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About the Painting

Revealing my Crosswise process

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A passion for texture is a major motivator for my work. Laying down texture is my go-to first step. That’s where I consider the composition of the piece, playing with the depth, the character, and tactile qualities that will guide what happens next. I’ve created a number of paintings using layered stripes, sometimes horizontally, sometimes vertically, to produce exciting clashes abutting and layered on top of each other.

In Crosswise, I laid down my texture—well—crosswise, parallel with the shorter side of the canvas. While painting the stripes in the same direction might have been pretty, I wanted a tension at play. So instead, I painted the layers of stripes vertically, in direct opposition to the underlying texture. The result is a rich vibration that you can see in the detail photos here as the brush skips over the ridges.

16379-crosswise-detail-4-loThe painting progresses from the cool greens and blues of fields and streams at the bottom to the warm reds, oranges, and yellows of sunshine and flames at the top. Gold gem-like dots punctuate the painting’s verticality and provide a surprise to be found by the viewer.

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But nothing is perfect! Nature causes decay and corrosion on objects, which this painting expresses with the worn-away passage at the top. Random splatters top off the painting with spontaneous exuberance, a contrast to the relative discipline of the underlying structure.

Crosswise is painted on standard gallery-wrapped 22 x 28 canvas, and is ready to hang. See the painting in context here.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt

 

 

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About the Painting

Harmony and conflict, high and low

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Mesa Whirlwinds is another in a group of paintings based on the compositional structure of a high horizon line, as if viewed from a low place. There are four textured swirls, with the top two intersected by the horizon line, that speak to the harmony—or conflict—of the high and the low. Whirlwinds are both earth and sky, as dust and dirt are blown about, blurring the distinction and causing me to catch my breath.

Weather and the elements have taken their toll, wearing away the surfaces to reveal the past represented by the pentimento (images, strokes, or forms that have been painted over) present both above and below the horizon. (By the way, “pentimento” is one of my very favorite arty words!) Turquoise and earth-tinged colors are evocative of tribal lands, with jeweled “buttons” providing surprise anchors that, somehow, keep everything from blowing away. Random paint splatters provide animation to an otherwise very stable, peaceful image.

Mesa Whirlwinds is a 20” x 20” mixed media painting on gallery-wrapped canvas. Visit Gallery: Middle Works to see Mesa Whirlwinds as it might look in a home or office. (Scroll down a bit.) See my FAQs page to learn about the easy purchasing process.

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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt
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