December 2010   volume 9 number 10 The Artist's Loft logo The Artist's Loft logo

William H. Hays  Hello and Welcome Friends,

This last newsletter of 2010 begins on a good note. The past year was seriously challenging for us on a number of levels this time around. But we've been shown, once again, that all things change and we are now doing well, feeling happy and anticipating that we're starting a new chapter in our lives together in Vermont and Nova Scotia.

Those of you who live in Brattleboro probably know by now that we've been joined by a new little friend. Her name is Little Ricki and she's an English Springer Spaniel. I've been trying to convince Patricia that we should get a puppy for almost ten years and she finally gave in. And she's glad she did... as am I.

Ricki and William Hays   Little Ricki joined us the day before Christmas Eve.

OK... so we got the cute stuff out of the way. Now, let's get down to some art! We'll start with one of Paticia's Christmas presents. Patricia likes to keep journals. I don't know how many she has (maybe 15... 18) but they go back several decades. (She kids me that she's my biographer.) Most of the time when Patricia is ready to start a new journal, I buy a hardback sketch book and paint the cover for her with something that has something to do with our lives together. Most of the time I stretch and glue canvas on the cover so that I can paint in oils.

This latest one is inspired by a photo that our friend and fellow artist, Roger Savage sent us of our house in Nova Scotia. Since we didn't have a chance to get up there this summer, we've been thinking about it more than we might have otherwise. So, I did this painting of the front of our house with the beautiful blue hydrangeas in the front.

Patricia's journal cover, December 2010 by William Hays   Patricia's journal cover, oil on canvas, December 2010

Other than the journal cover, I occupied our December days preparing for the holidays, preparing to get our puppy and reworking some canvases. So I'll show you some before and after images of three paintings I've been working on.

The first is one that you've seen recently (in the August 2010 newsletter) Never content to leave well enough alone, I reworked the painting with glazes of transparent color which changed the overall tone of the painting. Here's the painting in the state you last saw it and after my most recent reworking.

Lakeside Morning, state 3, by William Hays   "Lakeside Morning" (before) Oil on Canvas, 23" x 16"

Lakeside Morning, state 4, by William Hays   "Lakeside Morning" (final) Oil on Canvas, 23" x 16"

Considering the number of edits and changes this painting has been through, I think I might do well to call it finished and say "That's that!"

Next is a painting I origianlly painted back in December of 2006. I think the composition is interesting and I did like the overall, soft green tone to the painting. But over time, I began to want more in the way of color and felt that it needed a bit of warmth. So here's what I did.

Forgotten Crossing by William Hays   Forgotten Crossing (before)

Forgotten Crossing by William Hays   Forgotten Crossing (final) Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Finally, this painting is one that I did recently and in some ways I consider this to be just a continuation of the painting process more than a reworking of the canvas. Still, it is reworked and I hope you like the results.

Connecticut River by William Hays   "Connecticut River" (before)

Connecticut River by William Hays   "Connecticut River" (final), Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

I love painting in oils. As you can see, it has the potential to be an almost never ending process, not just in the painting, but also in the learning. I often relate to visitors in the gallery that I reached a point some years ago with watercolors where I felt like I'd done everything I was going to do with the medium. With oils, I'm not sure that there is an end to the process. It continues to challenge me and to unfold and reveal itself to me little by little. I also have the satisfaction of occassionally doing a painting that even I think is good - and I'm a tough critic!

So I'll leave you with my very best wishes for you and your loved ones in this new year of 2011. My hopes are high. Do drop by the gallery when you're in Brattleboro and remember that Gallery Walk is the first Friday of each month from 5 to 8:30 PM - and you are certainly welcome to drop by then too!


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
103 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301-4308  USA

The Artist's Loft Fine Art Gallery, Nova Scotia
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