Sunday, August 09, 2015

New Blog/ Special Commission Revealed!

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(Feb. 22, 2016)

Awakenings in the Marsh, 18x24in. Oil on linen/panel (Click photo for a larger view)


Awakenings in the Marsh

I have come to a new location to paint. It is so peaceful; that time seems endless. The evening light is captivating as it illuminates tree tops, creating halos of brightly colored greens. It boldly fills spaces not blocked by greenery and foliage. The land is transformed by nature’s spotlight. 

This moment will not last long, as the sun dips lower in the sky. Paint and brush work rhythmically with nature’s easy pace. The marsh awakens as winter grasses are interspersed with bright greens and new blooms. Skylight strokes open pockets of water, leading one along a lighted pathway. Winged friends rejoice in new beginnings. They sing of warmer days and a leisurely pace, only nature can provide. 

It is these moments that make time stand still. A sense of solitude takes hold where one merges with nature. All cares gently fall away; only the present matters. It is where pure joy is experienced. 

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald ©

Malagash, Nova Scotia

The journey for this piece began this past April when I was approached to paint a commissioned piece for an upcoming retirement. The painting was to be of an area very special to the retiree, which was in Malagash, Nova Scotia. Since I don't paint from photographs, special arrangements needed to be arranged. In my working method,  I use a study completed on location, color notes and also digital images which are more for drawing purposes. 

The wonderful thing about this commission, is that I had free creative choice to paint what I deemed would depict this beautiful area in its glory. Soooo the adventure began! My husband and I visited the area one Sunday afternoon. (It is about one hour and fifteen minutes from our home.) When we arrived I thought I was in heaven! It was so beautiful and peaceful. I scouted around taking in the views and getting a feel for the area.

After our Sunday visit, I returned two more times and painted a study both days. It was on my final day there that I decided the above scene would be the one worthy of becoming a larger work.

It was so beautiful the evening I painted the study for "Awakenings in the Marsh".  Finally, Spring had arrived with its lime greens and new foliage. The light was breathtaking and was changing fast. I began my study at about 4:50 p.m. and finished it about 7:15 p.m. Then I cleaned up and sat down to write my written reflection to accompany the painting. By the time I left it was about 7:50 p.m. I arrived home at about 9:15 p.m. The drive home was really beautiful and I didn't have to drive very long in the dark. I was happy--I knew this study was going to assist me in designing a larger work of this gorgeous area. 

My subject in Malagash, Nova Scotia.

The marsh area in the painting took some designing in order to make it pleasingly to the eye. Several sessions and hours later, my painting finally came to life. It was fun keeping it a surprise, even though the recipient knew it was happening. 

New beginnings in my studio!
My palette with some grays mixed on the right hand side. 

Painting this piece was extra special for me as it was for my former Superintendent of Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. Gary Clarke is both a wonderful person and a very dedicated educator. He retired with 36 dedicated years of service. As Trudy Thompson, Chair of CCRSB stated,  “His dedication, commitment and passion for education has made him a truly exceptional leader for our system. He will be greatly missed.” You can read a tribute and write up about him here. I loved working with both Gary and his Assistant Jo-Anne Jarvis-Jordan on this project.

Not the best pic, but framed and ready for packaging.

Ready for delivery!

I really enjoyed delivering Gary's painting to him. It was such an honor and pleasure to participate in this very special gift giving project! Knowing that "Awakenings in the Marsh" has really resonated with Gary and his family brings me so much joy! An emotional attachment is what we hope will be accomplished with any commission. It was fun creating this artful experience for all involved!

Thanks so much for reading!


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