oil painting

  • 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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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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Rustic Seaside Waterman’s Cabin

June 13, 2016
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This light filled painting with shimmering water and atmospheric qualities makes "Seaside Waterman's Cabin" simply sing!

SEASIDE WATERMAN’S CABIN © Barbara J Hart is oil on canvas board and measures 6″x6″

 

On the Atlantic side of the Eastern Shore of Virginia you can see a few rustic cabins built on stilts and perched on the marshland along the remote barrier islands. These tiny cabins were used by watermen to guard their oyster beds from poachers. There are only a few still standing due to the weather and waves that continually reshape this chain of islands. I couldn’t resist painting this little gem of a cabin with the shimmering water and atmospheric qualities of the afternoon sun.

 

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A Place of Diversity and Beauty

March 26, 2016
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"Stillness" is an oil painting on canvas board of Eastern Shore marsh land. 6" x 6" by Barbara J Hart

STILLNESS © Barbara J Hart is oil on canvas board and measures 6″ x 6″

 

I just love the marshes along the Eastern Shore. A walk through these magical boggy places encourages you to slow down, take in the sights, smells and sounds of nature. They are places that fill you with awe and a reverence for the beauty and diversity of nature.

 

MARSHLANDS

“A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim,

And meets with sun-lost lip the marsh’s brim”…

by E. Pauline Johnson

 

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Morning at Savage Neck Dunes

December 3, 2015
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Morning at Savage Neck Dunes is an 6"x6" oil painting on board by Barbara J Hart. Inspired by a trip to this golbally unique environment.

MORNING AT SAVAGE NECK DUNES © Barbara J Hart, oil on canvas, 6″ x 6″

I collect visual pieces of a place and put them in my paintings.

This tiny painting is inspired by a field trip with my Master Naturalist class. On a beautiful fall day we explored the remote Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve. As we walked the trail, we learned about the many animal and plant species of this globally rare maritime environment.

Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve is a stunning preserve with sand dunes that tower as much as 50 feet above the Chesapeake Bay as well as forest, woodland and scrub. The Preserve provides food and shelter for migrating songbirds as well as  a home for the federally threatened north eastern beach tiger beetle.

Wander a short trail through the maritime forest and gradually you find yourself walking on a sandy path. Here stunted loblolly pines form an open canopied woodland. Meander through the woodland and pass through the dunes that include loblolly pines, ground-hugging beach heather, persimmons, and wax myrtle. Just on the other side of the dunes is a beach with a mile of shoreline running along the Chesapeake Bay. The dunes are an unexpected find along the bay.

How could I not be inspired? The painting is from the beach looking up to the dunes at the loblolly pine and the scrub.

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