When driving around Darke County in western Ohio, I often come across a quick visual treat. A bluebird zipping low over fields and grasslands of the farming community I call home. Once you learn what a bluebird looks like they are often hard to miss. My wife always reminds me that they look like grumpy old men. I think of them as dashes of cobalt blue. I live on what used to be a farm. The bank barn and tobacco barn are long gone. There are still remnants of old fence posts that were made from Catalpa trees. Any bluebird aficionado will tell you once wood posts were replaced with metal posts the birds population started to fall. Thankfully bird lovers across the United States took to building special wood birdhouse that are specifically designed for the blue grumpy birds. We still have a few of these boxes out in the 5 acre pasture.
The painting evolved from a quick sketch on a napkin. The bluebird is caught in a moment before flight. The foot on the right is lifted up and the rest of the weight will follow down. The fence post is weathered and old. The barbed wire is crudely wrapped around the post and is intentionally disproportionate. Both look painful and unforgiving. The dead wood and weathered metal contrast the colorful life of the living bird. The background is more a quick action strike of color. Is the background a landscape or rusted metal? There is a sense of volume and realism to this painting.
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If you think there is a bit of gloom to this painting then I suggest hearing the bluebirds song. The jamming tune these feathered friends chatter and chirp can break the mood of any rainy cold monday morning. Zip A Dee Doo Dah
This painting is not so much about the subject, but the exploration of black and white. They are the basic colors most artist start out with when learning art. It’s good to step back. I felt the need to look at the basics: value, line and shape. I’m combining this simple limitation while still creating expressive art in my ever evolving technique. This painting feels more like a drawing.
The image is of a black rhino. While I was painting I could not help but think about the trials this endangered species faces due to man’s stupidity. These majestic creature’s home can be found in South Africa. There are roughly 200 in North America that are in captivity. The black rhino is considered small to other rhino types even though they weigh in at 4000 lbs (heavier than my Toyota Camry) . The animals are illegally hunted for their horns which mostly consist of keratin. This substance is used in traditional asian medicine and ornamental products that are found on the black market. In the 1960s there were over 70,000 black rhinos. Today it is estimated to be around 5000. I hope these wonderful animals will be able to stick around.
This original canvas artwork by Michael Glass depicts a pheasant caught in a state of surprise by a passing fox. The fox also appears to be caught off guard, pleasantly surprised even, by the presence of the pheasant. It’s a tale as old as life itself, a creature is forced into ‘fight or flight’ in order to survive. The focal point of the painting is the bird’s head, which brings intense bright colors to the forefront. The eye of the pheasant is shown peering out at the viewer, as if pleading for help. A large portion of the painting is taken up by the bird’s frantically flapping wings, followed by its tail which wraps around the fox, continuing off of the canvas and reappearing in the extreme upper right hand corner of the landscape.
Once your gaze moves on from the pheasant, you will notice the fox subdued in the background. The placement of the fox gives extra depth to this intriguing nature scene. It appears that the fox was merely strolling through the field of tall grasses or brush until the startled pheasant jumps into action, causing the fox to turn its head back towards the commotion. By the fox’s glare, you can almost feel that, as the aggressor, the animal is instantly transitioning into fight mode – at the very moment that the pheasant is taking flight in an attempt to escape the fox’s grasp. The winning prize of this instinctive exercise is survival.
For a sense of motion and excitement, add this artwork to your living areas, game room, office, lobby, or anywhere else you could use a great conversation piece.
As with all of my paintings, I began this nature art by sketching the pheasant and fox with pencil and paper. I then enlarged the drawing and penciled in the landscape on a primed canvas. From there I used a variety of techniques to apply the acrylic paint, including dropping, throwing and dragging. The foreground of the finished piece is made up of a variety of lines. This was meant to give the feeling of overgrown tall grasses and brush. The pheasant almost jumps from this ‘nest’ of grasses sending the whole composition into an explosive event. A second earlier the pheasant would have been camouflaged by the natural elements of its surroundings. Another thing I love about this painting is how the coolness of the fox’s mantel and muzzle explore the temperature of white. One question I would have for the viewer is this: Where do you see yourself in this painting? Are you the pheasant, the fox, or a nearby observer?
This has been a mild winter. Later this week I believe we will get snow. With no hope of warm weather in the next 10 days, I smile and think of the summer that will be. My summers are mowing grass, playing soccer with my little girl, observing distant thunderstorms, drinking wine with my wife.God I love summer. Its those thoughts that fill my head when I sketch or randomly doodle. I draw and think, think, think, draw, draw then SNAP! an idea takes shape and I start to see the beginnings of a painting. I tell myself stories when drawing. On this sketch i can see a silly hungry bee. It will be disproportionately fat to its little head. The thick overweight legs will grasp the yellow center of the white Aster. Can this old frail flower support the massive weight? How will the variations of yellow play with each other.
Sunflower lovers rejoice! Here you have the opportunity to own a beautiful painting featuring sunflowers in a field. This expressive, abstract artwork has a very relaxing feel to it – but contrasting that relaxing feeling is an impending storm that can be seen blowing in from the distance. While observing the painting, the viewer is transported into the middle of the field amongst the sunflowers. You can almost feel the wind in your face and smell the coming rain. The further you gaze back into the landscape, the more abstract the shapes become. In the background you will notice telephone poles positioned alongside the sunflower field. These poles are reminiscent of crosses reaching towards the sky. A common sight in the countryside, the telephone poles combined with the stormy skies and the sunflowers themselves brings a very calming feeling to the painting’s viewer.
The Sunflowers In Field design is a perfect addition to any sunflower-themed collection, and also makes an incredible stand-alone piece!
To create this work of art, the paint was dropped, thrown and dragged across the canvas in an expressive manner. If you look closely you can see the individual dots of paint that combine to make up the landscape. When I set out to do a painting featuring sunflowers, my first instinct was to place a couple of sunflowers in the center of the painting. However, this would have resulted in a very static painting. Therefore during the planning process I asked myself “What if we put the viewer in the center of a sunflower field?” From that thought the concept took off.
Sunflowers are interesting in respect to the variety of surfaces and structure of the flowers. There are these fragile brilliant yellow petals that are connected to these round abrasive dark disks. The flowers are supported by thick green cylinders that reach to the heavens. It was the structure of the sunflower that I drew my inspiration from. I plant a variety of Sunflowers in the spring and summer because I enjoy their simple beauty. From one little seed, out will jump this giant only to fade away and transform into feeding the birds. I enjoy working with visual flows in my paintings and this subject matter lent itself nicely to this concept. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did creating it.
Title: Sunflowers In Field
Dominant Colors: yellow, blue, green and scattered earth tones Medium: Mixed Style: Expressive Impressionism Original Artwork Size: 50”x45” Artist: Michael Glass Year: 2015