Hello and Welcome Friends,

  December, 2006
volume 5 number 8

In October, Patricia and I went for a drive through the West River valley in southeastern Vermont. We went down a little back road, barely paved, to see if some friends of ours were home. They were not. As we headed back for the main road, we stopped beside a small creek that comes out of the dense forest. Where it crosses the road there are two bridges beside one another, the old stone bridge and the new steel and concrete bridge. I guess I don't need to tell you which I preferred....

    "Forgotten Crossing" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Keeping summer in mind, I worked up this composition from several photographs taken over the years and a sketch to compile all of the elements into this piece. I find that my palette seems to be changing, part by design, part unconsciously as I'm painting. I am enjoying putting some fairly intense and saturated colors underneath and within my landscape composiitons.

  "Summer Pool" Oil on Canvas 38" x 28"

There is a biennial juried exhibition in Keene, New Hampshire at the Thorne-Sagendorf Gallery on the campus of Keene State College. It is a fine gallery and has an interesting schedule of exhibitions. Two years ago, my painting "Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia" was voted the favorite by folks who visited the show over the six weeks it was on display. Awards are always flattering and it was good to receive this kind of acknowlegement from the public.

For my two entries this time around I did two paintings that continued with my seemingly endless stream of winter paintings (one of the hazards of having lived in Alaska and New England - I love winter!). I revisited two compositions that I had done more than ten years ago, trying to improve on my initial efforts. I have no idea whether either or both will be accepted into the exhibit. I have finally come to accept that entry into juried exhibitions is something that is completely out of my hands. There is no telling what will happen when two jurors review a selection of artworks. Having set up juried shows and having been a juror myself, I know that there is truth in this statement. As to awards given by a jury, I view the probability as akin to a roll of the dice combined with personal preferences - who knows what will happen?

  "Deep Woods Night" Oil on Canvas 26" x 37"

  "Frozen Flow" Oil on Canvas 38" x 28"

This next painting is a little bit unusual for me in that I have approached a subject that defeats many artists: autumn in Vermont. The problem with painting autumn in Vermont is that the colors are sometimes so spectacular that somewhere in the translation from reality to the rectangle of the canvas an artificiality creeps in. Using bright and saturated colors for the leaves on trees is a sure fire recipe for creating a garish painting that can seem quite unnatural. I hope that I've been able to convey the dazzling effect of the bright colors while retaining some degree of believability in this piece.

  "Window Into The Valley" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Finally, I will leave you with my fond wishes for a peaceful and pleasant Christmas holiday. With that in mind, here is a "before and after" painting I've not only repainted, but retitled as well.

    "Seraphim" (before) Oil on Canvas 16" x 23"

  "Ministering Seraphim" (after)

Now that's kind of Christmas-ey, don't you think? Enjoy your holidays and keep in touch!


William H. Hays

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