About the Painting

Looking Westward

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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
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About the Painting

A Penny’s Worth of Sparrows

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

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

Strength with sweetness

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I wanted to create a painting with a sweep of color in the composition, something that might invoke a wave, or a transition from something powerful to something  still strong, but different in character. I began by laying down texture and covering it with strands of blue, various shades on top of one another. As the piece evolved, it became clear that there would be a field of pearlescence, the top right section in the view above. (Oenomel can be hung effectively either horizontally or vertically.)

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I began to add some warmth by overlapping reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, yellow–candy colors, I thought. I unified things by laying down the cool ocean colors alongside the candy colors. Some pearly gems appeared, like pops of jewelry. I built layer upon layer, finalizing the painting with splashes and splatters of contrasting colors–white, dark and medium blues, and whatever felt right at the time.

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The hardest part of creating this piece came in naming it. (Can’t seem to go with “Untitled.”) As I often do, I search my “Word of the Day” app, and stumbled across the word “oenomel,” which means “strength with sweetness,” like wine with honey. Perfect! Done!

Oenomel is a large painting, acrylics/mixed media on 20″ x 60″ gallery-wrapped canvas. As mentioned above, it can be installed vertically or horizontally, according to your preference. To see it both ways in context, click here and scroll down a bit in the Large Paintings section. Learn how to purchase this 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 permission. Copyright 2016 Laura Hunt


 

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