September 2010   volume 9 number 7 The Artist's Loft logo The Artist's Loft logo

William H. Hays  Hello and Welcome Friends,

Autumn in Vermont.... It kind of conjures up images, doesn't it? It certainly does for us and for the millions of folks who come here each year to see the leaves change colors. But in Brattleboro, we are the lowest in elevation and the furthest south in Vermont and, therefore, the last place in the state to turn autumn colors. I don't have any autumn images to show you yet. The trees are just beginning to turn in our area. I'll bet next month's newsletter will have at least a couple pictures to show you.

But this first image is one that I've created in anticipation of those autumn colors. It is inspired by a previous block print ("Lucent Grove") and a fragment of a painting I did in 2002, entitled, "Golden Dusk".

The print is done in six impressions but with 7 colors. Each pass was done with a graduated tint from a light tone (at the top) to a darker tone in the lower portion. In the next impression I made the previous dark tone the lighter one and mixed a darker tone for the lower part. Each impression used this two-tone formula, getting darker with each additional impression. Since I used a limited palette of just yellows and browns, the print has the distinct impression of autumn even without any leaves on the trees. Here's the result:

Golden Grove by William Hays   "Golden Grove" 6-color Linoleum Block Print, 7" x 5"

Next is a new painting. This painting is based on the Connecticut River, just north of Bellows Falls. With the puffy clouds in the blue sky and the ranges of mountains fading to blue, the impression is of a great distance. The foreground is mostly in shadow while the sun illuminates the mountains.

Connecticut River by William Hays   "Connecticut River" Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

This next painting is a reworking of a previous composition. Here's the original image:

Deep Woods Night by William Hays   "Deep Woods Night" Oil on Canvas (2006) 26" x 37"

Although I liked the painting and it won an award in a regional show, it did not generate the level of response I was looking for. It was rather colorful for a night time painting. Along with the dark and intense blues, there were frequent dashes of brilliant reds that came out from the under painting. It was, perhaps, a bit more colorful than one might expect a night painting (or maybe not - who's to say?). Anyway, I decided to continue with my prior activity of the past couple months by making this painting more by making it less. In this case, less colorful and less light.

The highlights in this version were close to white. As I painted over the canvas with multiple layers of warm grays and blues, these highlights stepped well away from their prior brightness. But because the overall painting darkened quite a bit, they still come across as very near white - even though they are not.

I know that there are some of you who will like the first version better. And so it is whenever I change a painting. Nevertheless, I'm fond of the results of this reworking and feel that it better conveys my original intention.

Deep Wood Night by William Hays   "Deep Woods Night" (2010) Oil on Canvas 26" x 37"

Finally - I thought about it a little bit. I do have a couple of pictures from some day trips that Patricia and I have taken over the last couple weeks. Here's one of the well-known vista from Hogback Mountain, looking south toward Massachusetts. I thought you might like to see one autumn picture anyway.

Hogback Mountain view   Hogback Mountain view

Once again we're coming up on Brattleboro's Gallery Walk this first Friday of the month. And once again I'm going to be giving away a "Gallery Walk" print by random drawing. If you want to be included in the drawing (and see the print), you can register to win here.

Thank you once more for spending your time with me while I show you my latest work. You're always welcome to come by The Artist's Loft in Brattleboro. I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you walk in the door of the studio!


William H. Hays

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