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  • Contemporary artistCelebrating the American Landscape

Radiant Light & Dancing Clouds

July 16, 2017
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“Route 13″ © Barbara J Hart was inspired by frequent trips up and down the Eastern Shore on its main road. Tall trees and grasses line the road below radiant skies and dancing clouds. Oil painting on 6″x6” cradled board.

 

I’ve always been drawn to the landscape of the sky.

When I see a spectacular sky, something that grabs me and takes me out of myself  I’m compelled to take a photo. Not as a record but as an emotion that I feel. I’ve always loved to watch clouds. Growing up in Brooklyn, my sister and I would lay on our backs on the stoop and watch clouds form, collide together and move into different shapes, all illuminated by light.

Clouds give a particular emotional tone to a painting – ordinary stillness or extraordinary events above.

And with a painting you can return and recapture a particular feeling, unlike with a cloud formation, where in a few minutes, it’s gone.

Painting clouds gives me a chance to create drama and depth, to internalize a particular moment giving it a tone. Baroque skies are dramatic and powerful while sublime skies have unearthly, visionary qualities.

There is always the association of clouds to heaven, with the divine, belonging to nature. Painting the landscape of the sky reminds me that we are all part of nature.

In this painting the sky and the road take on a luminous quality. Low clouds are separated by blue sky. Some clouds are like bunched cauliflower with flat bottoms while others dance in an airy realm of wind and space. 

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A Road Full of Sunshine

July 12, 2017
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Road to Tara © Barbara J Hart is a landscape oil painting on cradled board and measures 6″x6″.

Clouds pile up into fluffy mountains floating across the summer sky. “Road to Tara” was inspired by my weekly trips to Tara King’s farm, By The Bay Alpacas.  The dirt driveto  Tara’s house is more than a mile long and depending on the weather it can be very difficult to navigate. But, not on this hot summer day. There was a scent in the air, something was blooming, but I do not know what.

This was a fun painting because I love to paint clouds. Their irregular and ambiguous shapes shift and change and take on different forms.  Clouds can be challenging, but so much fun!

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Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea – An Exhibit

May 25, 2017
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Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea is an exhibit that I can’t wait to see!

The exhibit features large beautifully designed marine life sculptures made of plastic pollution. The marine debris is collected through volunteer and community clean ups and transformed into larger-than-life sculptures to help teach people about environmental conservation and sustainability through art.

READ MORE about Angela Haseltine Pozzi, Lead Artist and Executive Director of WashedAshore, based in Banden, Oregon.

The exhibit is showing at a number of locations around the country.  If you happen to be in any of these areas through the Fall, go check out it out.  I’m heading to Richmond!

 

 Here are the locations for the exhibit:

Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa
April 29 – October 31, 2017

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, Washington
April 22 – October 21, 2017

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
March 15 – September, 2017

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Sant Ocean Hall, Washington, DC, On-going

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LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS

April 21, 2017
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A Gathering of Loblolly Pines © Barbara J Hart is a painting inspired by a visit to Chincoteague Island. This landscape painting measures 9″ x 12″ and is painted in oil on canvas.

It was love at first sight!  Almost three years ago, I left New York City. I now live in a nature driven environment on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic.  I was immediately drawn to the beauty of its waterways and wildlife. I hope my paintings convey my love of this area and its unique timeless vitality of Loblolly pines, marsh lands, and creeks. Not to mention the opportunity for peaceful reflection.

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Clouds Floating Into My Painting

April 11, 2017
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On my easel this morning.  

 

Painting in process . Peeking out above the canvas is a portion the photo I’m working from. Colors on the palette are mixed and I’m ready to go!

 

Here’s the photo I’m working from. This was taken on one of my morning walks along the Onancock Creek. Don’t you just love that sky! 

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Why Landscape Painting?

April 4, 2017
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Chincoteague Misty Morning © Barbara J Hart , 2017. It is a study of the pines on Chincoteague Island, 6″ x 6″

Painting landscape is magical.

With a few strokes of a paint brush and dabs of color you create clouds that dance across the sky, grasses that sway in the breeze, and marsh land that stretches into the distance.

Landscape artists create illusion. The illusion of deep space on the flat canvas or board. We paint the air to create the warmth of the sun and dark clouds that promise rain. The scene can be painted from a photograph of a place once visited, or on location (plein air) or it can be created from the imagination.

We of course do not paint exactly what we see, there are cameras for that. Instead, we decide what we want to see. We can choose to depict the landscape in various ways. If there are too many trees on the slope, we can choose to leave out a few. We can paint every blade of grass or instead, with the stroke of the brush or palette knife create an abstract field of color.

We work to draw you in, for you to become spell bound and to enter the painting and into the majesty of the land.

 

 

 

 

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Looking to Nature – Longing for Spring

March 27, 2017
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Looking toward the Chesapeake Bay and longing for warmer weather and blue skies. I was inspired to paint this small work (6″ x 6″) while strolling along Savage Neck Dunes on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 

By the Chesapeake Bay © Barbara J Hart , 2017, is inspired by a walk along the water on a sunny Spring day. 6″ x 6″, oil on panel.

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Happy 2017 – 2 New Landscape Paintings

January 15, 2017
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This year my goal in the studio is to paint more regularly, to avoid distractions and to produce more work. So, to that end, I plan to do a small painting a day. The nice thing about the push to produce a complete painting quickly is that it leads to a more spontaneous looking piece, which is what I am after. The paintings serve as studies for larger formats, and provide a means to solve various problems presented within each painting.

It is the process of  painting that delights me. And, producing quickly is a challenging, productive and fun way to begin the new year. Here are two of my quick studies.

 

island-inlet

Island Inlet © Barbara J Hart , 2017, is a study in acrylic painted on paper and measures 8″ x10″.

 

Day Dreaming is a landscape painting done in acrylic on canvas board, 8" x 10"

Day Dreaming © Barbara J Hart, 2017, is a landscape painting done in acrylic on canvas board, 8″ x 10″

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A Season of Celebration and Giving Thanks!

December 19, 2016
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"Ain't Life Grand" is an acrylic on canvas painting of a dog jumping for a Frizbee.

“Ain’t Life Grand” © Barbara J Hart is an acrylic on canvas painting and measures 44″ x 30″. Available as greeting cards.

In this season of celebration, joy and gratitude, thank you to

People who collect my work and read my blog

Other artists who challenge and inspire me and generously share information

Folks who enjoy my art and whose compliments keep me going

Teachers who have encouraged me

Family and friends whose love and support I so cherish!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Happy New Year!

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Painted Floorcloth Commission

December 18, 2016
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I recently completed a commission for a painted floorcloth and here it is!  It measures 7.5′ x 10.5′. So, what’s a floorcloth?

Floorcloths are one of the earliest forms of floor coverings. They originated in France in the 15th Century and were introduced to the colonies through Britain in the 1700s. 

Commissioned floorcloth - 7.5' x 10.5'. Traditional diamonds in center with marsh animals in border.

Commissioned floorcloth – 7.5′ x 10.5′. Traditional diamonds in center with marsh animals in border.

Also known as “olycloths”, “painted” or “crumbcloths”. Originally they were made from recycled ship’s sails, linseed oil, whiting and pigments. The earliest floorcloths were utilitarian (usually painted in one color) and used to cover dirt or wooden floors. Oil cloths (“Olycloths”) received their name from the heavy amounts of linseed oil mixed into the paint. 

With the development of linoleum, floor cloths went into a decline. However, since the 1970’s there has been a resurgence of interest in floorcloths and they have become a fashionable alternative to area rugs.  A floorcloth can last for decades. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or mop, which makes it very practical.

Install of painted floorcloth with diamonds in center and marsh animals and grasses in border

Install of painted floorcloth with diamonds in center and marsh animals and grasses in border

The process of creating a floorcloth has not changed much except to take advantage of current acrylic paints and primers and polyurethane as a protective surface.

This was a fun collaborative with my neighbor, who had lived in a historic house for many years and had floorcloths scattered throughout. She now wanted a design that would combine traditional with contemporary and with a lighter palette. Here the historical motif of diamonds is incorporated into a contemporary painting of marsh animals in a more coastal palette. We looked through many nature books and I mixed colors until we found just what she had in mind to create a personal and unique floor covering.

Close-up of painted floorcloth with marsh animals and grasses. In the studio.

Close-up of painted floorcloth with marsh animals and grasses. In the studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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