Friday, May 1, 2015


On route 41 returning from a short holiday weekend with my siblings, I drove past a sign for a covered bridge which interested me as a possible subject to paint.  I turned the car around and like a child, I began a new adventure, exploring.  I crossed the bridge and much to my surprise there was a glistening stream with beautiful hues of cobalt blues and ochers in the water.  I was drawn to the twisting and turning and what appeared to be a small water fall.  The water churned and flowed over a tree that had fallen in to the stream, much like life around us, never to be see again.

I chose a sanded pastel paper 18 x 24 in size to work on and began to apply a rough sketch for composition.  I then strengthened the geometric shapes that form the building blocks in values that seemed to make sense to me.  

Next I began applying layers of cool and warm greys over the tangled branches along the edge of the stream on the left, along with the distant trees on the top of the painting.  

Now I addressed the tall trees on the right with strong strokes that felt like sinewy midsized tree limbs and bark that was deep and roughly textured. 

Now I turned my attention to the cool and warm shapes that represented the shadows from the trees and highlights on the water that seemed like the sun to hitting the surface on the water.
Building a good painting is easier if you build a good foundation, and finishing is even easier.  But always be open to surprises that pop up along the way - they may be the icing on the cake.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

California Dreams

The light was different in California.  The colors were jubilant and there were flowers everywhere.  The early morning sun shown through the mist rising from the sea, causing a rainbow of changing colors pale green,  blue and rosy pink.  A touch of sunlight just caught the surf and seemed like a jewel among jewels.  I went out to do some scouting for subjects to take home with me. 
The ocean was stretched out as far as the eye could see and the mountains rose behind us up into the moving mist from the Pacific Ocean.  I wanted to capture the light, color, mist and trees that were all around me.  I started laying in the complimentary colors in the correct values.  The beginning was like a romantic vision of what I saw.  The colors were fresh and carried the passion I felt as I painted.  No line - no trees.  Just splashes of local value in unreal colors in an abstract fashion.
As the painting developed I started the next phase in reverse laying in the correct colors and values which resulted in a soft muted greying of the complimentary first layers.  I continued this process until I decided to add the solid structure of the trees which I wanted to keep at a minimum.  Just enough for effect to clarify my love for the wild colors and trees and mountains and the ocean behind me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Promise

I was driving down route 41 when I saw what looked like a painting to me   A tree that stood beckoning to anyone who would see the promise that it held. 

 I started by sketching the lonely trees in warm and cool grays. I then strengthened the composition by building up some of the shapes and deepening up those shadows.

A cool blue was added to separate the foreground from the distant trees. Soft purples were added to the distant trees to further separate them from the strong foreground. 

I developed the sky in various shades of blue surrounding the center of interest, the tree. The focal point is full of small twigs and last year’s dead grasses. I applied a collection of dark values in various shades of warm and cold to give the illusion of complex density in the forest. 

I started to define the trees in the foreground to bring them forward in the painting and applied a variety of pastel colors in the grassy foreground.

Ultimately, I love to see two strong values react to each other and against each other and I used that juxtaposition to help denote the passage of time and capture the true beauty of the subject. Go create something beautiful today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Change is All Around Us

Today marks the start of Gerrie's solo exhibition: Change is All Around Us

The theme of this exhibition is the passage of time as seen in the seasons and in the faces of the people around us.

Feb 3 – Feb 28, 2015

This piece, along with 16 others are on display during the month of February.

Heartland Artists Gallery
101 N Michigan St
Plymouth, IN 46563
(574) 936-9515    (574) 936-3607

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year from Gerrie: 2014 Wrap-up Newsletter

With art exhibits across the state, wonderful painting trips, and lots of great work created by students and colleagues, 2014 has been a great year!  Here are a few highlights:

During the month of March three of Gerrie's pieces were exhibited as part of She: The Female in Image and Form.

In April, Gerrie's piece, Angela, was honored with a judge's award in the 82nd Annual Juried Exhibition of The Indiana Artists Club, Inc at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

In May, two of Gerrie's pieces, Enchanted and Touch of Spring, were accepted into Art Barn's 21st Annual Juried Art Exhibition.

In June, this piece by Gerrie was displayed as part of the Indiana Heritage Arts 36th Annual Exhibition at Brown County Art Gallery.

2014 marked the 5th consecutive year that Gerrie's work was accepted into Chesterton Woman’s club Annual Art Show.  This 63rd annual installment of the show took place during the month of June. 

August saw the beginning of the Hoosier Salon's 90th Anniversary Exhibition!  Gerrie's piece, October Table, was on display at the Indiana History Center until August 24th, when the piece joined 100 other gorgeous pieces on the traveling tour.

In October, Gerrie's piece, Entwined, received the Marcia Price Memorial Fund First Prize Award in the Heartland Artists' 26th Annual Juried Regional Art Show.  The event's judge, Jamie Ball, who works as an instructor at Culver Academies said, "First, second, and third places all went to artists who chose a botanical theme, but each approached the subject in a completely different media and approach, all masterfully."  

In November, Gerrie donated this beautiful painting of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Lakeshore Public Media's annual holiday gift auction.  Thanks to a donation from someone known as "Cookiedune," this lovely seascape brought in hundreds of dollars in support of local, arts-focused, public broadcasting!

Wrapping up 2014, Gerrie's piece, Into the Light, was accepted into the latest installment of the Elkhart Juried Regional Art Exhibit on display at the Midwest Museum of Art from October to December.

Gerrie's winter/spring art classes kick off at the South Shore Arts Center on January 13th, 2015 (For more information visit Gerrie's website, or the South Shore Arts website).  Ongoing classes at Hobart Arts League begin January 15th.  With several new solo exhibitions on the horizon, 2015 looks like it will be a great follow up to the magnificent 2014.  Happy New Year!