Heading in a new direction

I’ve been working in in a very impressionistic style with my illustrations for awhile now- and I feel I’ve pushed that as far as I can. On a recent hike in the woods I found I was really liking the quicky, 5 minute sketches I was doing with a marker and wanted to incorporate that into my paintings. Pictured below are two paintings of the base of a White Oak with a large grape vine hanging off of it growing on a limestone outcrop . The first painting is very painterly, the second is much more cartooney with the heavy black outlines. These are both painted from memory like most of my work.

full view of woodland scene ten an original acrylic painting by mj seal “Woodland Scene X” – Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 13 1/2″ x 10 1/2″. C. 2017

full view of woodland scene eleven an original painting on board by mj seal “Woodland Scene XI” -Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 13 1/2″ x 10 1/2″. C. 2017

Note the outlines of Blood Root, May Apple and Fern leaves in Woodland Scene XI

Finally framed

Woodland Scene Illustrations II-IV are finally framed-

full view of woodland scene four an original painting by mj seal in a hand made frame
“Woodland Scene IV”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 14″ x 11″. C. 2017

For this low-key painting I chose a frame I had made from a Dutch-style reverse molding with a distressed black finish and antiqued gold lip.

framed full view of woodland scene three an original painting on board by mj seal
“Woodland Scene II”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10 1/4″ x 8 3/8″. C. 2017

For this piece I chose a more simple, modern molding profile that I veneered with Wenge wood.

framed full view of woodland scene three an original painting on board by mj seal
“Woodland Scene III”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10″ x 8″. C. 2017

For this frame I water gilt a rounded oak molding with white gold leaf. It has a nice warm-silvery color which cools down the painting and I love the texture of the wood grain underneath the very thin gold leaf.

Woodland illustrations painted from memory

Yesterday was very productive-

full view of woodland scene five an original painting on board by mj seal
“Woodland Scene V”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 8″ x 10″. C. 2017
full view of woodland scene six an original painting by mj seal
“Woodland Scene VI”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10″ x 7″. C. 2017

Woodland Scene IV

Rays of sunlight pierce the cooling shade of a group of maples growing on a moss covered stone outcrop in this painting from memory-

full view of woodland scene four an original painting on board by mj seal
“Woodland Scene IV”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 14″ x 11″. C. 2017

I think I’m entering a green period

I am definitely ready for spring (and summer) as you can see with these spontaneous woodland scenes-

IMG_3375
“Woodland Scene II”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. C. 2017
IMG_3380
“Woodland Scene III”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10″ x8″. C. 2017

Memory of trees

Channeling memories of sun-dappled forest floors on summer afternoons in this very spontaneous painting-

full view of woodland scene one an original painting on board by mj seal
“Woodland Scene I”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10″ x 8″. C. 2017

I started out with a mat board coated in black gesso that rapidly grew into this very impressionistic landscape. I find working on dark backgrounds can really help with building up depth- plus you don’t have this bright background glaring at you with it’s whiteness. Note the heavy brushstrokes built up from working wet in wet-especially in the highlights.

Wire Wrapped Necklace Pendant

I finally got a chance to try out the jewelry wire I bought months ago-

wire wrapped calcite crystal by mj seal
A large calcite crystal turned into a necklace pendant with silver jewelry wire.

The pendant itself is a large (and strangely sparkly) calcite crystal I found on hike in the mountains behind my Mom’s house. I went with a very minimalist approach to the wiring allowing it to appear in only a few key spots on the front- just enough to hold the stone in place. I went with the silver wire which I think meshed best with the milky white mottled with gray and orange of the calcite crystal.

wire wrapped calcite crystal by mj seal
View of the back
wire-wrapped-calcite-crystal-by-mj-seal-full-view-02
This calcite crystal is encrusted with numerous tiny crystals that glint at different angles which is why this stone popped out so well on the forest floor where I found it.

A very productive weekend

It’s been a very productive weekend and now I have a large batch of spoon rests, soap dishes, platters and bowls on the drying shelf-

fresh-batch-of-porcelain-spoon-rests-and-platters-by-mj-seal
Some very organic, free form porcelain wares.

All of these pieces were made from “reconstituted” porcelain clay that were part of previous sculptures that split during the drying process. I will be drying them very gradually and I’m ¬†keeping my fingers crossed that they will survive.

potential-leafy-platters-made-from-porcelain-by-mj-seal
Two potential leafy platters.
white-oak-leaf-spoon-rests-by-mj-seal
A pair of White Oak leaf spoon rests.
potential-seashell-bowl-by-mj-seal
A seashell bowl

Testing out a new stoneware clay

Since I have been having some issues with the porcelain clay splitting during the drying process I decided to try out a stoneware clay. This stoneware clay is similar to porcelain but contains “grog” -a prefired material ( in this case a fine sand) that will not shrink during drying and renders the clay less prone to splitting and cracking. It seems to dry a little grayer in color than the porcelain clay but other than that it has very similar working properties-

img_3141
The items in this set all have a soft square or rectangular profile and I’m envisioning them with a white marble finish
img_3142
A cheeseboard

 

img_3144
A set of four potential tumblers
img_3143
Three relish/ dipping bowls with a soft square shaped profile