Friday, October 16, 2009

Touch Drawing

I have started a continuing studies program in "Art and Healing" at Ringling College of Art and Design...what a perfect way to combine my nursing knowledge with my artistic creativity!

The first class I took was called "Touch Drawing".  The class teaches you to let go of the left brain, logical side and get in touch with your right brain, creative side and almost enter a subconscious level as you paint. 

"Touch Drawing is a simple yet profound process. In the technique, a smooth surface is covered with a layer of paint.  A sheet of paper is placed over the paint.  Wherever the paper is touched, an imprint is made on the back side.  Impulses from within take form on paper through the touch of the fingertips" (Deborah Koff-Chapin in her book, "Drawing Out Your Soul")  See for an actual touch drawing demonstration, if you want to learn more about the technique.

I made 23 Touch Drawings during the first day of class...I then completed two of them by adding paint and more color. Those two are below.

"The Journey Begins" by CB Woodling, c 2009
I am:  the start of a joyous journey; not the only path, but one of many; exhilarated to begin the journey; full of color and a rainbow of possibilities; uplifted and ageless as the mountain; solid as the tree. 
I will travel through nature, over rocky terrain, and touch the glory of my very own soul.

"Peace Rising From Chaos"  by CB Woodling, c 2009

 I am:  a dove in the sky, peace, rising from chaos, light, hope, free. 
The universe began in chaos and the people of the Earth still live in chaos, but peace will rise from the very darkness and give light to all.

As you can see, these are VERY different from my usual left brained more meticulous landscapes.  I hope you find them interesting.  Cindy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Waterfalls always seem miraculous ... there is power in the water as it carves the land, but also great peace and timelessness. So here are two more of my paintings... the first is my most recent (and still drying in my work room), and the second is one of my earlier paintings, completed while I was still in nursing school, some thirty years ago. Waterfalls still fascinate and inspire me all these years later.
"Niagara Sunset" by CB Woodling, c 2009

"Waterfall Watcher" by CB Woodling, c 1977

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meeting of Two Washingtons

Join the Army and see the world! We were fortunate enough to be stationed in many lovely places as we served in the Army. Two of our favorites were Washington State with its monumental mountains and Washington D.C. with its memorable monuments. Thus, the inspiration for these two paintings, both of Washington.

My office at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington gave a gorgeous view of Mount Rainier to the east. Whenever my day started with the wonderful view of sunrise over the mountain, I was able to center on the joy of creation and better face the challenges of the day. As I painted, I pictured how wonderful it would be to face that view every morning across the waters of Puget Sound. Morning coffee on the dock? Hope it gives you that same joy.

"Sunrise Over Rainier" by CB Woodling, c. 2009

We were stationed in the Washington, D.C. area several times in our Army careers and the painting below celebrates the wonderful monuments, especially the Lincoln Memorial, which is impressive by day, and lovely by night. This is a sunset view... a magical time in D.C., when all the monuments come aglow with inner light.
"View on the Potomac" by CB Woodling, c. 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of Abstracts and DNA

What a wondrous time we live in, as scientists unravel the secrets of DNA, and help us in fighting disease using our own DNA. But science is not always used in beneficial ways... I recall the movie Gattaca, which showed the darker side of being able to control our own DNA.
This painting is both a tribute to and a cautionary note about "unlocking the genome"... in a very abstract way. I hope you find it interesting.
"Unlocking the Genome"
by CB Woodling, c. 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ballroom Dancers

Ballroom dancing is hotter than ever, with all the dance shows now airing on TV. My husband and I are among an increasing number of couples who are taking up ballroom dancing as both a nice way to spend an evening together and a way to get some enjoyable exercise. So, though I really prefer to paint landscapes, I have done several paintings of dancers.

This group of paintings are from my Dance Series completed in 2007. The first three are inspired directly by paintings of Jack Vettriano and may look familiar.

"Dancers on the Beach 1" by CB Woodling, c. 2007

"Dancers on the Beach 2" by CB Woodling, c 2007

"Dancers on the Beach 3" by CB Woodling, c. 2007


The following two paintings were inspired by photos of actual ballroom dancers. The elegant body lines and dramatic costumes really captured my interest.

"Dancers 1" by CB Woodling, c. 2007

"Dancers 2" by CB Woodling, c. 2007

I hope you enjoyed these and remember some fun times you may have had on the dance floor, even if you've only done ballroom dancing in your dreams.

Monday, August 17, 2009

City Bridges

These two paintings are inspired by the symmetry of bridges and the beauty of city scapes. I hope you enjoy.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the confluence of three rivers, is known as the city of bridges. It's also known for the spectacular skyline that appears, almost magically, as you drive in to the city through either winding mountains or tunnels. When you actually see the city as you exit the tunnel (or wind around the last mountain), the city immediately surrounds you and it's really unexpected and breathtaking.
"West End Bridge, Pittsburgh", by CB Woodling, c. 2009

The bridge below is inspired by an old black and white photo of a bridge, but it reminded me of the many bridges along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As you can see, I envisioned lots of color in the old black and white version of this bridge, as a sculler rows towards the sunset.
"Sunset Over the Schuylkill" by CB Woodling, c. 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Great Lakes Vistas

Lake Michigan, St. Joseph Pier Lights
by CB Woodling, c. 2008

The above water scene is not so very different from the Siesta Beach Lifeguard Stand Series I did a few years earlier (see my first blogs for views of Siesta Beach). I find the contrast of the forces of nature and the man made buildings to be particularly compelling. Man adapting to and fortifying against the seas and oncoming storms by providing shelter and light as in the above painting... or man setting up guard posts and shelters for fellow swimmers as in the Siesta Beach Series.

Similarly, I find farm scenes equally fascinating ... man partnering with machines and animals to share in the bounty of the earth. I hope these landscapes portray both the beauty of nature, even in storm swept skies, and the relationship that man has with the environment.

What a gift we have in the world that surrounds us!

Greenfield Farms Cooperative, Ohio
by CB Woodling, c. 2008

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Covered Bridges

"First Snow"
from the Everett Road Covered Bridge Series
by CB Woodling, c. 2009
"Fall is in the Air"
from the Everett Road Covered Bridge Series
by CB Woodling, c. 2007

I love the symmetry, beauty, and nostalgia of covered bridges. Though originally created as "covered" to help preserve them from the weather, many of our covered bridges are now gone. This one is on Everett Road in Bath, Ohio and is now under the protection of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, so I have hopes it will survive many more years.

Below are more paintings of the bridge in Spring and Summer. Ahhh...Beautiful OHIO!


"Sweet Spring"

from the Everett Road Covered Bridge Series

by CB Woodling, c. 2007


"Summer Sunshine"

from the Everett Road Covered Bridge Series

by CB Woodling, c. 2007

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Winter Scenes

Since it's turning to summer quickly in Florida (whew, 96 degrees on our road trip last week!) and even Ohio has been warm (in the 80s in May!), I thought it might be nice to view some cooler weather pictures. So here are several winter and Christmas scenes. Think cool!

“Tropical Christmas Eve”

Original Art by CB Woodling , c. 2007

The painting above is inspired by the historic LaGrange Church on the east coast of Florida, It was built in 1869 and is one of the oldest churches on the east coast of Florida. I loved the stained glass in the church and added in the tropical palms and heron to depict the Florida locale.
The painting below is inspired by the 19th century chapel at Hale Farm and Village in Bath, Ohio. It sits in a lovely valley of restored 19th century buildings, overlooking a placid pond.

"Cuyahoga Valley Christmas"
by CB Woodling, c. 2008

The painting below was part of a study for art class and is of an imaginary place. It depicts an early snow, with some of the fall leaves still on the trees. Hope these wintery scenes help you cool down in the summer heat.
"Winter Scene"
by CB Woodling, c 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The American West

I've always loved mountain scenes and marvel at the glories of the American West. Here are a view of my paintings inspired by those vistas, some from my earliest painting days to my most recent.

"Mountain Lake" by C Blair (Woodling), c. 1970s

The painting below was inspired by memories of the Snake River winding through Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the brilliant aspen leaves in the fall.
"Aspen Fall" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

We made a driving circuit of the Southwestern US, including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. The skies were amazing and the colors in the rocks were unlike anything you see in the Eastern portions of America. So the following two paintings were inspired by the great deserts, valleys, and stone monuments of the American west.
"Adobe in the Sky" by CB Woodling, c.2008

"Sedona Moon", by CB Woodling, c. 2009

America's west is such a contrast of civilization against the backdrop of gloriously beautiful, but harsh, dry lands. In the face of such difficult environments, I was most impressed by the various "green" technologies to save energy...everyone drives a hybrid, solar panels abound, and recyling is a way of life. But I was truly fascinated by the enormity and stark beauty of the wind farms on what was non-farm-able land. The painting below was inspired by the wind farms I saw in California, and also by a truly fascinating photo of a wind farm by night from National Geographic (original photograph by Jeff Kroeze).


"Wind Farm" by CB Woodling, 2008

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beautiful Ohio

As is the case with many Floridians, we originally were from the upper midwest - Ohio specifically. Each time we return to Ohio, I am reminded of how lovely the flowers are each spring and summer. So here are a few paintings inspired by homes and their gardens in our neighborhood of Shady Hollow in "Beautiful Ohio".

"Shady Hollow Poppies" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Shady Hollow Bunny" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Shady Hollow Hydrangeas" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Shady Hollow Iris" by CB Woodling, c.2008

"Shady Hollow Tulips" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

Friday, April 24, 2009

New York City Scapes

I was lucky enough to join my brother and his family on a trip to New York City last year. They live in Paris, France, so the big city was not a "big deal" for them... but I thoroughly enjoyed viewing all the cityscapes at various times of day.

I have been mostly a landscape painter and pick subjects for my paintings from what I view as the beauties of nature. I think most folks think of big cities as "grey" and not very beautiful. But, while walking the streets of Manhattan, I found the reflections in the windows and the various vistas through the street and sidewalk passages to be full of interest and color. So I hope you enjoy seeing my cityscapes.

The first two of my New York Cityscapes are from high up in our hotel tower. We were on floor fourteen, but were amused to note that there was no thirteenth floor at all, no button in the elevator for 13. So in reality, we were staying on the thirteenth floor. Thirteen happens to be a favorite number of ours because our son, Matthew, was born on Friday the thirteenth. So, that's the origin of the title for the first painting.

"View From Thirteen" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

This second painting was also a view from the thirteenth floor. As I was painting it, several of my fellow artists asked if the view was of New York...and I told them that it was actually a view FROM Manhattan, across the Hudson River, towards New Jersey. One of them replied, "No one paints New Jersey!", so that's the origin of the "unofficial" title.
"View Across the Hudson" or "No One Paints New Jersey"
by CB Woodling, c. 2008

The third painting in this series was inspired by one of my brother's favorite buildings - the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue. We had one of those memorable family trip moments getting to the building...having stood in line for the Empire State Building tour, missed a meal or two, and ultimately in a rush to get out of town before rush hour that we (or at least I) were (was) hot, bothered, impatient, irritable, and crabby. But that turned out to be one of the best memories of the days we spent in New York City, and I hope the painting reflects the beauty and color one can find in just a "grey old city".

"Flatiron Building" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rainforest Frogs

Our son, Nathan, has always been interested in insects and amphibians, particularly frogs. He was fortunate enough to take an exploratory trip with his school to Peru and had wonderful memories of the Amazon rainforest. So, these rainforest frogs were painted to help keep the memories alive.

"I'm In Love with a Big Blue Frog" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Hang in There" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Jeepers Creepers! " By CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Where's You Get Those Peepers?" by CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Just Chillin' " By CB Woodling, c. 2008

"Which Way Did It Go?" By CB Woodling, c. 2008

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Siesta Beach Dreaming

So what would Siesta Beach look like without all those condos and hotels on the crescent beach? Here is my dream view of that Siesta Beach... Leave the cell phone, the reading behind... and just wander down that wonderful crescent of beach.
And since I love pelicans so much, here's a colorful version below, called "Pelican 1" ... just for fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meet Me at Siesta Beach!

My Siesta Beach Series of paintings started thanks to a request from my brother, Scott. When the whole family is here on Siesta Key, we often meet at the beach to have conversation and toast the sunset. So, Scott asked if I would paint a picture of the Blue Lifeguard Stand, since we always say "meet you at the Blue Lifeguard Stand". It brings back great memories of many family occasions. So, Scott, thanks for the inspiration!

Since the series was painted, I have sold a number of notecards featuring the various Lifeguard Stands. It turns out that lots of folks come to Siesta Beach, and each has a favorite stand as their meeting point. In my Yellow Lifeguard Stand, I added in that quintessential element of evenings at the beach... watching the pelicans fish. They look so prehistoric and ungainly as they drop out of the sky into the water, but it's fun to see how often they catch fish using their expandable beak.

This is a view of the spectacular Siesta Beach sunset. It might look unreal because of the colors, but if you've ever sat at the beach on one of those special nights, the sky really does look like this. And every evening is different...and unending series of sunsets with colors enough to inspire any painter.

And, finally, what would be a beach without children building castles. Hope you enjoy seeing these. If you've been to Siesta Beach, they should bring back great memories...If not, you should plan a visit to see our truly beautiful beach.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Greetings from sunny, warm Siesta Key.

I'm delighted to report that prints of two of my paintings are now available for purchase at Hurricane Rita's in Siesta Village. The two prints are of beach chairs as I pictured them on the white sands of Siesta Beach. I know that every time I walk out to the beach, I can just feel my blood pressure dropping and I get that "AHHHH, Siesta" feel. I hope these remind you of that wonderfully soft, fine, white sand of Siesta Beach and you picture yourself just relaxing in one of these chairs.

I painted the first one (with three beach chairs) several years ago, and just loved the colors of the sky reflected in the water, and the palm trees swaying. At the time I painted it, in the early spring, some of the decorative palms along the beach were putting out wonderfully bright orange fruits, so I just had to add that to the scene.


The second one (with two beach chairs and the straw hat) was just painted several months ago. It was part of a study of adirondack beach chairs and I adapted it to what I see on Siesta Beach every day...and added the ever present sandpipers and sea gulls.

Hope you enjoy.