Hello and Welcome Friends,

  August, 2007
volume 6 number 6

You might recall that I ended last month's newsletter with a painting entitled "Calm Before The Storm." This painting of Spetacle Island Lighthouse is one that I've worked on for more than a year. While working on it last month, I decided that the image would work well for a print. So, I will start this month's installment with a variation on that image:

    "Dawn Escort" 4-color Linocut 9" x 12" edition of 12

The tone and subject of the print are very different from the painting. As well, one of the characteristics of the printing process is that everything is printed in reverse. At the moment, I have both the painting and the print in the same room. It is surprising to me how many folks don't recognize the relationship between the painting and the print. Of course, they are quite different from one another.

We have not been going to the beaches in the area quite as much as one might expect. After all, there are five beautiful beaches within 20 minutes of our home. But, when you're busy painting, getting out to the beach can fall by the wayside. As well, we have had more than our share of rather cool days where the beach can feel a bit harsh and cold - but still beautiful.

One day we went to Hunts Point beach. It is a small crescent of sand behind a small port with a few fishing shacks and boats. The beach is backed by cottages where we have stayed in years past. This painting is the port at Hunts Point from that day's outing.

    "Nova Scotia Midday" Oil on Canvas 18" x 24"

This next painting is what might be called a tonal exploration. It follows a similar composition and subject to two other paintings I've done in years past (Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia" and Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia II"). This time I decided to use a more common boat (a lobster boat) in the composition and envelope it in the fog and the setting sun.

        "Into the Glow" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Patricia and I often end up riding out to East Berlin, where there is another small port with boats and fishing shacks. Before arriving at the port, there is a view of the port across the salt marshes. And that is the inspiration for this painting.

        "High Tide" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Back to the block prints. This next print is a very involved image. It is a six-color print that took me a full week of work. The subject is derived from my back yard. We have a hanging basket of red flowers (that I do not know the name of). At its peak, it suddenly began attracting monarch butterflies. Of course, they are lovely to see. A friend of mine has been making jewelry in the shape of butterflies out of titanium. I took some photographs of the butterflies for her. But as I looked at them more, I decided that they would make a good subject for a print.

I composited four of the photographs to make this composition of the butterflies and the red flowers. But I felt I needed something else. So I took some additional images of the magnificent hydrangea tree next to my deck and wove them into the composition. This process alone, to create the composition, took more than a day. Anyone who has worked in Photoshop knows that such work can be quite time consuming. The carving and printing took the rest of a full week. Often my wife would find me printing well into the early morning hours for several of the colors.

I have consistently started with sixteen sheets of paper with my prints series this summer. Previous prints have yielded 12 to 14 finished images. There have been printing and registration problems that make some prints unacceptable. This is the first time that I have had 100% success with the registration and printing - 16 prints. I'm getting better at this stuff....

        "Monarchs of the Flowers" 6-color Linocut 9" x 12" edition of 16

Finally, I'll leave you with another large oil painting. This painting began with the coastline just outside of Port Medway called Long Cove. There is a small lighthouse and a rugged set of cliffs and coves that are quite lovely. This composition is based on that coastline with parts of the foreground borrowed from the coastline just outside of Peggys Cove.

         "Glorious Day" Oil on Canvas 40" x 60"

So that is the latest from The Artist's Loft in Nova Scotia. I hope you've enjoyed seeing these paintings and prints.

I look forward to hearing from you.


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
103 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301-4308  USA
802-257-5181  www.TheArtistsLoft.com

The Artist's Loft Fine Art Gallery, Nova Scotia
120 Main Street
Liverpool, NS B0T 1K0  Canada