Dead Wood

Dead Wood, 48X36, oil on linen, 2014, by Carol L. Douglas
 It’s very unusual for paintings to just flow off the brush without a lot of second-guessing, but I have experienced it a lot getting ready for this show. This painting is a case in point: it’s complicated, I don’t have any particular reference, and yet it was no big deal to get all the pieces in place. Weird, that.
Branches that fall into streams tend to collect other sticks into logjams. This debris can alter the flow of the river itself. There is great force holding such river jams in place; in fact, breaking a logjam is something best left to experts, as it can be very dangerous.
Sin drops into the current of our life, and gets caught up on other sins. By the time we are adults, we have a logjam of sins pushing one against another, altering the very flow of our lives, defining what we understand to be our character or personality. “She’s temperamental.”  “He is afraid of his own shadow.” These are not true marks of character, but the distortion caused by this logjam of sin.
How do we identify the key log to break the logjam? We don’t; we need help from the Holy Spirit.

(My thanks to Tony Martorana, senior pastor at Joy Community Church, who used this image in a sermon.)

Red-bellied Woodpecker outside my studio window.
I was using the bare branches outside my studio as reference for the distant trees, when I saw this little fellow knocking at my pear tree.  I suppose it’s a sign of spring that he’s out looking for insects, but it’s bad news if my pear tree is sick. It’s older than my house.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!