Monday, July 27, 2009

Video: Irish Landscape Paintings by Cindy Morawski

In July 2007, I traveled to Ireland with my husband Paul and some of my American family to attend the Nesbitt Reunion outside Belfast. I had already met my Irish Cousin Robena before, but I hadn't met my other Irish relatives. So with passport in hand and a feeling of anticipation that had come after years of yearning to see the Old Country, I flew from Newark to Belfast. After renting a car, we started our journey by touring Northern Ireland. The reunion was still a week away. One of the trip's highlights included a beautiful drive past sheep grazing along the coastal highway. We were headed to see the magnificent Giant's Causeway of County Antrim. After the family reunion, my family headed west to Sligo, home of poet and writer, William B. Yeats and more awesome landscapes, castles, estate gardens, and waterways. At Rosses Point, I remember gazing out at the harbor and wondering what it would have been like to set sail as an immigrant years ago, leaving everything you know and love behind in order to start a new life. It couldn't have been easy.

While I stayed in Ireland, I took what seemed to be at least a million pictures. Later after I returned home, my first project was in sorting them all out. Paul and I then proceeded to make a couple of videos from our movie camera and my digital camera. We shared those with the family at the next reunion which was held the following summer in Pittsburgh, PA. Meanwhile, I was chomping at the bit. I couldn't wait to get started with painting some of the scenes I fondly remembered from our trip. So, I started out with the grazing sheep and then moved on to water and ships. All the paintings are done with soft pastels.

The video with this blog features some of the paintings I've created of the Irish landscapes and set to the mood music of Enya. One of my paintings that's currently for sale at the Inspire Fine Art Center this week features a painting of Ireland, "Memories of County Antrim." Please feel free to stop by the Inspire Art Center on 1539 E. Sandalwood in San Antonio for the exhibit.

May the Luck of the Irish be with you always!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Discovering Mitchell Lake, a Pastel Landscape Painting

Did you know that there's a 1200 acre natural area located south of San Antonio? It's called the Audubon Center at Mitchell Lake. It includes a 600 acre lake, 215 acres of wetlands, and 385 acres of upland habitat. You can find it at 10750 Pleasanton Road in San Antonio off South Loop 410. It's open to the public on the weekends from 8 to 4 and only costs $2.

I discovered Mitchell Lake last summer. I found beautiful landscapes with water, grasses, trees, and birds. And, I didn't have to drive hundreds of miles to get there. I took my camera and enjoyed photographing the scenes of nature. Later, I sketched some of what I'd photographed, but didn't get around to painting a scene until this summer. Sometimes, it takes awhile for creativity to perk or simmer.

I painted my landscape entitled "Discovering Mitchell Lake" on a sanded Art Spectrum Painting Board that measures 12 x 16 using pastels. By accenting the foreground with the dark purple grasses, I also showed a contrast with the lighter values of the lake in the mid-ground and the trees in the background.

Our world continues to amaze me with its natural beauty and loveliness. By painting landscapes, I get a chance to appreciate nature and to also interpret it through my view as an artist.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

September on the Island, a Landscape Painting

What's your favorite children's book? I have several, but one at the top of the list points to my love of horses. I remember reading Marguerite Henry's MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE when I was a little girl. I became caught up in the adventure of the wild pony swim and the Chincoteague's Volunteer Fire Department's Pony Auction in July. I imagined riding a wild pony on Chincoteague Island in Virginia as a child. The thrill of horse taming, the lure of the island's water and trees, and the adventure of going somewhere new made a big impression on me. It was one of those books that I kept rereading throughout my childhood. I wanted to travel there when I was a kid, but it just never happened. So, later, as an adult, when I had a chance to visit Virginia, one of my most cherished stops was Chincoteague. The ponies are still there, and so is the beautiful setting. Magic revisited!

This recent painting brought back the memories of all of that. When looking through my Virginia travel photos, I noticed one that looked promising in terms of composition. The wild bird in the foreground taunted me to get started with the painting. The vivid colors of fall helped me kick it up a notch. I worked on the water's reflections and shadows in order to breathe some life into it as well.

This landscape painting entitled "September on the Island" was created with soft pastels on a 5x7 sanded pastel board. I think it would look good in an easel or matted and framed for the wall as an 8x10. Either way, it's for sale at $40.

Hope you'll write and tell me about your favorite childhood book or getaway.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painting Farm Animals

Got Cow Paintings?

Have you ever had the urge to moo at a cow? I wonder what they'd try to do in imitation of us? "Yakkety-yak!?" Cow
was the first word my younger brother Kenny spoke as a baby. Growing up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, speaking the word cow as your first word, made a lot of sense. My first word was dog, but I was more into eating and drinking all things associated with dairy, then wanting it as a lifestyle. I knew that I didn't have what it took to be a farmer. Because I have an intense love of chocolate chip ice cream and I've always loved animals, I'm a huge fan of cows! In fact, recently, I felt compelled to portrait paint a Brown Swiss named Penelope and to paint a Holstein cow in a pasture landscape scene. Penelope belongs to my cousins Bill and Jim Reichert, and she lives on their dairy farm in Portersville, Pennsylvania. The second painting is a composite of more cow photos I had also taken on the Reichert Dairy Farm. Most of their milk cows are classic Holsteins, the black and white ones known for their huge milk production.
In reference to the art side of all of this, I painted my cows with soft pastels on sanded board. They measure approximately 11x14 in size. Hope you find my art moo--ving! And, I hope you think of the cow, the next time you're swigging down that cold milk for breakfast.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Desert Blooms

Seasons of the Southwest

Fresh Air and Desert Blooms are my latest pastel landscape paintings. They are minis in size (5 x 7)and could be hung as a pair or set. With nature in the spotlight, I wanted to capture the colors and light of the Southwest's desert by showcasing its flowers, grasses, and vivid skies.