Birth of a Painting Series VIII: “Water”, an Installation.

 

Water! A combination of large-scale videos within an installation format that includes an inner meditation room, surrounded by paintings and the gentle sounds of water, designed to include the viewer in the artwork. The paintings are sculptural, created on large wood panels, with deep texture, oil paints, and gold leaf. The videos are of natural events; “Lost Canyon Falls”, includes water and fire in a meditative film; “Lake Kaweah”, transforms two years of photos into a video time-piece, recording the beauty of each passing day; “Douglas Creek”, in the meditation room, includes streams, meadows, and the sounds of water.

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“Koi”, oil on wood, gold leaf, diptych, 70″ x 68″, 2008.

Paintings: “Cypress and Basalt”, mixed media on wood, 4′ x 6′, 2006. Private collection.

“Aspens”, mixed media, gold leaf on wood, diptych, 6′ x 8′, 2006. Private collection.

“Mountains, Clouds, and Streams”, mixed media on wood, triptych, 4′ x 6′, 2008. For sale.

“Silent Passage”, oil on gessoed wood, 4′ x 6′, 2004. Private collection.

Copyright 2018 Denise Hartley.

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http://www.dahartley.com

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Birth of a Painting Series VII, “Douglas Creek”.

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“Douglas Creek”, acrylic on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2010

 

Douglas Creek is one of many small creeks that come directly from the high-country snowmelt and natural springs. It is our drinking water for our cabin in Stanislaus National Forest, located at 6,700 ft. where the water is delivered by gravity flow. After passing by our cabin it enters the South Fork of the Stanislaus River, which begins at (9,635 ft. (2,937 m) Leavitt Peak, in Tuolumne County and eventually enters the San Joaquin River, and drains into the San Francisco Bay.

This little mountain stream and river have sustained life well beyond our time. There are parts of wagons used by the settlers trying to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are obsidian points from the Miwok Native American tribe and grinding stones. The tiny stream banks are lined with willow, horsetail herb, mints, orchids, and many other wildflowers.

As a child I wandered where ever I wished, with the caveat that, if lost, head downhill. I have slept outdoors with bear and mountain lions as possible visitors. Deer have taken a nap beside me. Chipmunks and Golden Mantle squirrels have sat in my hands. I trust the four- legged critters but keep a wary eye on the two legged.

Climate Change is changing our landscape quickly. We had to saw down six large beautiful Ponderosa trees this year alone. They are dying at a rapid rate, from bark beetles (love the heat), and a fungus, which spreads from fir tree roots. This was all predicted by a U.C. Berkeley scientist that wrote about how pollution affects the photosynthesis process, especially in the Ponderosa Pines. I watched a fire burn this summer across the river, tree torches burning brightly in the night.

Thank you for reading,

Denise Hartley

 

 

Birth of a Painting Series IV: Blue Iris

Birth of a Painting Series IV: Blue Iris

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The Life of Flowers

Article by Denise Hartley, artist and gardener, etc.

I have inherited my grandmother’s love of flowers. Just moments after arriving for a visit, she would say, “Let’s go outside and see the garden.” Her door to the garden was a glass storm door, always letting in the light and colors of the garden. Her home was full of florals, a rose bud was placed on her dinner tray, and each of her linens and drapes were patterned with florals. My son later restored her garden while renting her home, a garden that was destroyed after many years of renters. “Blue Iris” is a photo taken by my photographer son, Chris Gilbert, in that garden. His photo was the source of my painting. When we sold her home, the blue iris came home with me, recently planted in this tree stump.

Please view my page ‘Healing Plants’, a blog about my grandmother’s garden, then my sons, and last, my beautiful garden at her home: Page on this site: https://friendnature.wordpress.com/healing-plants/

Flowers give me courage, the life of a flower is so ephemeral, the beauty of the flower quickly passes, and is soon replaced by another. My life is passing just as quickly, and I will soon be replaced by my children and grandchildren. I long to look at flowers (and grandchildren’s) beautiful faces. The blooms of chamomile go into my tea, I cherish scented flowers of the sweet pea, and the budding squash blossoms that will soon be vegetables. I love flowers!

In my little greenhouse I have a tray of tiny lavender plants, also snow peas, and a flat of chamomile. The flowers attract the butterflies, bees, and birds. My desk looks out over my garden.  My dad was the gardener, with a large vegetable garden, and a pergola filled with red grapes. I am the new keeper of his garden. My garden here, although established, was a working man’s garden. I just finished planting his vegetable garden this winter, and I planted a peach tree, expecting blossoms and delicious peaches late spring.

Years ago, when my children were small, I was known as the artist that painted flowers. I had a large greenhouse filled with herbs, seed, and tiny plants. My retreat was a comfortable chair, just cherishing the quiet, and the scent of earth. The blooms, one of the healing powers of flowers, is the gardens reward. I opened a medicinal herb nursery, Emerald Gardens, and shared the bounty with the farmers market and the neighborhood deer.

Living on the South Fork of the Kaweah River, near the entrance of Sequoia National Park, I felt most comfortable backpacking alone, so I could linger in the beauty of the mountains. Hiking through mountain lion country, and crossing rivers, and snow watered creeks added excitement, but this was necessary to visit my favorite destination, Garfield Redwood Grove.  Amazing, among the redwoods were shoulder high lupin flowers, and fern. http://www.redwoodhikes.com/SequoiaNP/Garfield.html

 

I am off to paint a ceiling mural, sky and clouds, on my future grandchild’s nursery!

Many thanks for visiting this site!

From the desk of Denise

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https://friendnature.wordpress.com