Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Rainforest Home -- An Art Show

Next weekend marks the opening of the first Don and Karen Cornelius Art Show.  The event, which features paintings by each of us and one combined effort, is titled Our Rainforest Home.  It opens the first Friday of December (Dec. 6th) at Petersburg's Wild Celery Gallery from 5 to 7 PM.  Thus, instead of resuming tales of our fall travels, once again we are deviating from our plan to share a sneak preview of the show.  We hope any local blog readers can break loose for at least a few minutes to see what we’ve been up to.  They always look better in real life.

                             Courtship  12 x 24 inches  Acrylic on Canvas by Karen

Karen is hooked on photographing our local ravens and crows so any time she ventures forth with her camera she is likely to return home with images of these amusing birds.  After conceiving the idea for this painting she searched through her hundreds of digital files of corvids and picked out her raven "models" for the painting.  As for the foreground branch, she dragged a few broken branches into her studio, plopped them on the table she paints on and... viola she had her painting -- as well as a few spiders and a small pile of moss, lichens, and broken twigs on the table.

                             Fresh Snow 2  12 x 16 inches  Alkyd on Canvas  by Don

I based this painting on a photo Karen took one blustery day late last winter when old growth trees along Blind Slough were sheltering the forest floor from blowing snow.  I was drawn to the unusually colorful mosses contrasting with the fresh snow on the ground in this area.  It's one of two paintings in the show based on photos Karen took that day.  

         Fledglings in the Blueberry Patch  9 x 12 inches  Acrylic on Canvas by Karen

American robins seem to be a ubiquitous species across North America and they thrive on our southeast Alaskan island.  Their newly fledged young have a lot of learning to do about the ways of predators, so while they are still young and innocent they are no match for Karen with her camera.  As a result she has a collection of robin fledgling photos which she drew on for this painting.  As for blueberries, there is no shortage of patches around here.

                 Northbound Impressions 12 x 16 inches  Alkyd on Gessoboard by Don

During a ferry ride north a couple of years ago Karen and I thoroughly relished taking photos of mountain vistas that might make good painting subjects.  One image, in particular, seemed to fit into my abstraction painting motif  -- if I could just play with the shapes and forget all the little crevices, rock outcrops and spruce needles..  It's hard for me to break away from more representational pieces, but when I can , I'm always (OK, often) happy with the result.

                          Siskins Settling In  9 x 12 inches  watercolor by Karen

We had an irruption of pine siskins this past spring and it didn't take them long to find the array of bird feeders Karen is constantly rearranging around our deck and yard.  Often, when competition is intense (like maybe 50 of these tame birds all vying for five or six feeders) and a few dominant males seem determined to hoard an entire months stash of sunflower seeds just for themselves, less competitive birds will dash in, grab a seed and retreat to a hemlock branch to consume their meal in peace.  One of their favorite branches is right out Karen's studio window.  Thus the "seed" for Siskins Settling In began to germinate in Karen' mind.

                          As Far As We Go  12 x 16 inches  Alkyd on Canvas by Don

It seems the majority of times when Karen and I have had a chance to go to LeConte Glacier, we end up concluding this is "as far as we go."  Once again thick ice conditions, ice bergs calved from LeConte Glacier, block safe passage.  Occasionally we see the face of the glacier, if only from three miles away, but more often we are content with savoring the myriad of shapes and sounds of the ice pack.  As Far As We Go marks the turn around point on one such effort to get to the glacier.

      Suppertime in Gnomeland  12 x 16 inches  Alkyd on Canvas by Don and Karen

Seeing some paintings of night scenes in art magazines and on the internet gave birth to the idea of doing our own version of a nocturnal subject.  Could we pull one off featuring our gnomes?  With a joint planning session and Karen's critiquing my ongoing efforts, the two of us collaborated in creating "Suppertime in Gnomeland. " It wouldn't have been painted without the involvement of both of us.

This is a sample of the approximately 16 paintings we'll have in the show.  If you're in town the night of December 6th or sometime during the following week, we hope you'll stop by Wild Celery to see what we've been up to.  You can find Wild Celery's web presence on their Facebook page.


Susan Christensen said...

Congratulations, Don and Karen! I am excited to get to your opening Friday night! see you there - sus

Diane Eatherton-Watt said...

What a carrot to dangle, Don...too bad TN is so far from Alaska!!! Wonderful paintings the two of you do. Karen, your birds and their habitats are joyful, and Don, your abstract landscapes remind me of chocolate and whipped cream...yummy. Will there be more online, perhaps at the galleries fb or web page.
Thanks so much for sharing, I love seeing Alaska without leaving Tennessee!Enjoy your opening festivities & congrats!

Cindi said...

That collaboration looks like a lot of fun. Hope to see you on First Friday!

Cindi said...

That collaboration looks like a lot of fun. Hope to see you on First Friday!

Joy Davis said...

What an amazing show you two will have. Spectacular and whimsical! Wish I could be there to experience it first hand...I'll be there in spirit!!!

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks all for the well wishes. And Diane, we have most of the paintings on our website. However, maybe I'll add a few more to the next post. Chocolate and whipped cream! Now you have me wanting to head to the frige.

Terri Mappin (Seasons 365 Project) said...

Your work is BEAUTIFUL!!! Looking forward to following along and seeing more!