Sunday, December 12, 2010

Florida Scenes

Last Train to Paradise
by CB Woodling, c 2010

The painting above was inspired by a fascinating book Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean by Les Standiford (2002).  The title speaks for itself, but the story of the railroad which opened Florida to tourism and linked the mainland to the Florida Keys is one of extraordinary vision, engineering marvels and the persistence of mankind in the face of the unforeseen, unpredictable, and unprecedented forces of nature.  Nature, in this case, arrived in terrible and awesome power in the form of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, arguably the most intense and strongest hurricane to hit the United States.  My painting depicts the triumph of mankind with the vision of the train traversing endless water, but the tinge of "red sky at morning" hints at nature's wrath to come.

Suwanee River Delta
be CB Woodling, c 2010

As the coastlands of the southern river marshes merge with the shore, the land smooths out from prickly tropical vegetation into a seemingly never ending expanse of grasslands, spreading to the horizon.  The sky, too, seems endless, almost becoming one with the land and rivers as they both meander slowly to the sea.  What a stark landscape at first view, but teeming with lifegiving waters, nourishing both land and sea.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Art and Healing

Three more examples of paintings created from "touch drawings" as part of my "Art and Healing" certificate work at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Serene Forest by CB Woodling, c. 2010

For me, "Touch Drawing" allows you to explore and bring out images that represent your inner being, even if you are not totally aware of them.  The painting above started out on a day in which back pain was an underlying nag at my being...but I hadn't focused on the pain until I created this painting, which initially  resembled a spinal column with "hot" red spots of pain.  I recall doing the painting in almost a massage kind of movement, with both hands almost rubbing away the pain in that spinal column.  I took that image of hot, searing pain, however, and explored it further to find something cooler and more serene, and found a herd of elk wandering in the "Serene Forest" by a frozen lake on a cool winter day.  What a cool relief!

GROWTH by CB Woodling, c. 2010

This touch drawing above has become a core symbol to me.  It is a reminder to take the every day pressures which seem to be dragging you down to your very roots, and use them in a very positive way.  Instead of letting the pressure push you into reaction or anger, use it to stimulate ideas of new and beautiful things, pushing you up into the light, bursting forth into a unique, strong tree with new growth.  

Birds and Fishes by CB Woodling, c. 2010

I live in a sub-tropical environment and still marvel at the bright colors in tropical foliage and life.  This touch drawing starting without any color, just black and white shapes on tissue.  But even then, the presence of birds of paradise flowers and colorful fish were calling to me. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Nights in Ohio

Summer nights in Ohio...
Hot days simmer down to a cool evening breeze,
Lightning bugs flicker under deep shadowed trees,
As the sounds of a band striking up evoke yesterday memories. 

This Victorian inspired Gazebo sits in the middle of Medina, Ohio's Uptown Square. Though the current Gazebo is relatively new, having been built in 1972, band concerts in the square have been held in Medina since the mid-1800s. Today, summer band concerts at the "new" Gazebo continue the Medina tradition of families gathering to enjoy music in the summer twilight. 

"Medina Gazebo" by CB Woodling, c 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rubber Town Rubber Duck Derby

Akron, Ohio was one of the waystops on the old "Ohio and Erie Canal", which ceased operation about a century ago.  Lucky for us, the towpath of the old canal has been reclaimed over the past decade to become a wonderful bike/hike trail running through most of Ohio.  Akron's Mustill Store was one of the stops on the canal and just celebrated the tenth anniversary of its renovation and re-opening as a historic site by sponsoring an art festival and rubber duck derby.  How appropriate for the "Rubber Town" to have a "Rubber Duck Derby".  :) 

I had a booth at Akron's Cascade Locks Canal Day Art Festival and Duck Derby, my first adventure into outdoor festival tents!  I count it a great success because 1) the tent stayed up 2) we were able to hang the paintings so they stayed up securely and 3) my husband and I were still speaking at the end of the day!  And the bonus:   I sold some of my art!  Local pictures seemed to be the key to sales, and my best sellers were four "Duck Derby Series" paintings I completed just for this event.  So here they are...The Derby Ducks!

"Yankee Doodle Ducky" by CB Woodling, c 2010

"Win and Place" by CB Woodling, c.2010

"Show" by CB Woodling, c 2010

"Derby Duck" by CB Woodling, c. 2010

And here's a photo of my booth at the art festival.  Cheers!  Cindy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

North Coast Lighthouses

Here are a few of my most recent paintings... of the lighthouses of the "North Coast".  Lighthouses remind me of the very real hazards and dangerous waters of life, but hold out the hope of beacons of light when we need them to guide us to safe passage.  May your life journeys be safe and full of light.

"Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse" 
by CB Woodling, c. 2010

"Lorain Breakwater West Lighthouse"
by CB Woodling, c. 2010

"Toledo Harbor Lighthouse"
by CB Woodling, c. 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ohio's Bicentennial Barns

The Ohio farmland is so beautiful, no matter what the season. I especially love the pristine (and sometimes, even the not so pristine) barns dotting the countryside.  During Ohio's bicentennial celebration as a State in 2003, each county in Ohio had one of their barns painted with the Ohio Bicentennial Logo. These are so unique, and give me a smile every time I pass one on the road... I hope they give you a smile and that you enjoy my Ohio Bicentennial Barn Series!

This first barn is in my home county, Summit County, Ohio.  I depicted it on a clear winter day when the air is so clear, you can feel it filling your lungs as you breathe in the fresh crispness.
"Summit County Barn" by CB Woodling, c. 2010

This second barn is seen on our road trip from Ohio to the East Coast, just west of the Pennsylvania border.  I pictured it on one of those spring days when the sky is overcast, but somehow the green, green foliage in Ohio just gets ever so much more lush and beautiful with every rainy day.

"Trumbull County Barn" by CB Woodling, c. 2010

The third barn, below, is inspired by a barn we pass when traveling north from West Virginia, across the Ohio River, and into southern Ohio.  It always serves as a welcome each spring when we return north to visit family, and also as brilliant fall farewell as we travel south to warmer climates in the fall.

"Noble County Barn" by CB Woodling, c. 2010

This last barn is also in Southern Ohio.  I was inspired to paint it with the bright yellow late summer crops.  The full corn crib reminded me of the unique joy of biting into fresh buttered ears of corn, just pulled from the fields and roasted to a juicy delight of sweet saltiness bursting in your mouth.  Yum! 

"Washington County Barn" by CB Woodling, c 2010