Hello and Welcome Friends,

  April 2003
volume 1 number 5

Lately I find myself wondering what the weather will be like each day. Ten days ago there was ice floating down the Connecticut River. Yesterday was in the 80's. Tonight it is supposed to snow! Springtime is interesting in Vermont. But there are buds on the trees and I am confident that spring will be here in a matter of a few weeks. The crocuses and daffodils coming up.

In the meantime, I have been doing more painting than I would have anticipated, given my schedule lately. My imagination seems to be wandering toward the coast - Nova Scotia in particular. At the same time, my imagination and inspiration turn to the things that are immediately around me. I did a portrait of an artist friend as well as one painting of a bunch of daffodils we bought (with spring in mind). With the exception of the daffodils and the portrait, the paintings have been of my imagination more than anything else. So I'll just tell you a bit about how each painting came to be.

"Imaginary Day" Oil on Panel 16" x 23"

This painting was inspired by a combination of things. First I was taken by the way the colors worked on a rock in the lower left of the painting "Irises on the Coast" (below). The vague image I had in my head reminded me of a painting by Roger Savage, a Nova Scotia watercolorist of considerable talent. I worked out my composition and "Voila!" I love the feeling of the wind stirring up the water on a clear, crisp day.

"Irises on the Coast" Oil on Panel 16" x 23"

This painting was derived from a photo I took in Maine last summer (see below). As you can see, I changed the focus of the image from the coastline to the irises. When I was there, it was the irises that took my attention.

Photo of the Maine coast near Lubec

"Daffodils" Oil on Panel 23" x 16"

Flowers are one of the best things about spring and summer! I don't paint them very often. I am always aware of how spectacular they are and how my painting will be just a pale reflection of what they are really like. I skirt this thought by just enjoying the process and studying the flowers. We bought this bunch of daffodils for Patricia's mother while they were closed. The next day they were open in all of their glory. I picked up the vase to show Patricia and found myself saying, "I have to do a painting of these!", which I did. I painted them with the still life paintings of Edouard Manet in mind.

  "Moonrise at Carters Beach"  Oil on Panel  11" x 24"

This painting came out of my imagination and took several iterations before it finally settled into this state. I wanted it to be a still evening with a great distance to the horizon. I was also inspired by the way several artists treated the warm, dark foregrounds of dusk paintings in the 19th century. This is one of the great limitations of the web and low resolution electronic images - NO SUBTLETY. Trust me, there are all sorts of colors and rocks and grass and water in the foreground. I guess you'll just have to come see it in person!

  "Scot Borofsky"  Oil on Panel  12" x 18"

Scot is a friend and a very fine artist. He has been working on a series of fantastic abstract paintings that center on September 11th in New York. Scot and I get together pretty regularly (he lives and works just down the street from me in Brattleboro) and trade critiques of each other's work. He is bright, ready to listen and a pleasure to talk with about art. I have been bugging him about sitting for me for quite a while. Finally he gave in. I did the painting in three sessions. The first went well. The second session was a disaster. I don't think I have ever painted so badly with someone (let alone another artist) watching! I ended up wiping off all that I did while he was sitting and starting all over again after he left. I managed to bring it back to looking like Scot after he left. The third session pulled everything together to make what I think is a good painting of this interesting man.

  "Ice Out In April"  Oil on Panel  18" x 12"

About a week after the Connecticut River opened up, the ice returned for one cold day. All day long I kept wanting to go down to the bridge to photograph the ice flowing past. I just couldn't seem to make it down there. So I mustered my creative energies and painted what I thought I was looking for (had I gone down to the bridge). The day was almost black and white with lots of fog and rain. The foreground ice is large, raw strokes of paint that imply more than they reveal. There is a strong sense of distance in the painting.

That's all the painting for the past month - like I said, more than I would have anticipated. I have two paintings in juried shows in Massachusetts if you have a chance. One is in the 54th annual national Academic Artists Association show in Springfield, MA, in the big, historic white church downtown on Church Square. The other is in the annual "The Great River" show in Greenfield, MA at Artspace, located at 7 Franklin Street. This show centers around the Connecticut River.

In another month we'll be on our way to Nova Scotia where we will be spending a lot of time with a paint brush in hand - to paint the rooms of the new Artist's Loft in Liverpool. Remember, along with our new place, our B&B in Vermont is still open all summer long. If you are planning a trip to either area, please keep us in mind. Email us about reservations as we are beginning to book up for the season.

Thanks for looking at my work. Drop by the gallery if you are in the area!


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
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