There were two reasons why I started to paint in the large format. The first reason was, at last, all four children were in school. I had a blessed six hours, alone, in which to paint. And I wanted to paint something different.
I had always painted pretty close to home...to be available as a mother. I painted watercolors in the woods, in my neighbor's kitchen , down at the dock.
One day my husband, David, removed the front wall of our living room, the one that looked onto the porch, the one facing the water. He replaced it with a large wall of windowed doors that could be raided with block and tackle onto the porch.
It changed everything. Where. before, we had to walk up to a window in order to look out, now, we had the expanse of Mill Creek in our living room.
And it changed me.
It gave me the second reason. I began to paint the water, 4'x8', 4'x4', and 3'x4' acrylics on gessoed Masonite. At first I painted abstracts to get used to the new medium. I put a panel on a piano bench leaning against the fire place. Then the creek took over.
We had two fireplaces. I used both, standing and painting for three or four hours at a time. I remember going to the art store on Friday to make sure I had enough paint to last the weekend. I painted these long, creative hours because acrylics didn't last. They skimmed over and became unusable unless they were kept wet. Also, I was aware that my hand changed, had a different movement, from day to day. It became important to me to finish a large painting in one session. And I was obsessed.
I has success with my first paintings, I sold the 4'x8' " Creek" almost right away. I have never painted another that size since. And that encouraged me to keep painting. Then, I had an exhibit in a hotel lobby in downtown Annapolis. Quite a few sold there. I didn't photograph them so I don't know what they looked like. And I don't remember...but they must have been of the Creek.
I was fascinated by the ever-changing creek...there for viewing every day...always different: the reflections of the far bank, the wind patterns, the cast shadows, the changing trees, the ice flows, the change of seasons. Every day was different, inspiring...waiting.
Since then, I have continued to paint these large paintings in Princeton, NJ, in Chestertown, MD, and on Monhegan Island, Me. I have always felt the large format allowed me to be in the environment. I was painting, that I wasn't painting at something. I was there