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 evening...so 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.