~ stowe, vermont, i ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012 ~


Starting this week I’ll be posting the beginnings of a new paintings series. The ultimate goal of this project is to unite my two painting passions: landscape with mixed media ‘abstraction’.

The first phase of my process is to create a series of “traditional” landscape paintings (see the first one of the series, above: stowe, vermont, i). Once I’ve created these, the next phase will be to start abstracting the landscape in a second round of panels. I’m anticipating that the third phase will be to take what I’ve learned from the first two steps and work much larger. I have other ideas, too, for that phase, but I’ll articulate them when I get there.

For now I am working on Phase One. A few simple parameters have developed as I’ve been working:

— Each painting is long on the horizontal, measuring 12 x 24 inches (proportion of height:width = 1:2). The support for each painting is a hard thin Ampersand Gessoboard panel, stained a warm brownish:

Ampersand gessoboard panel stained brown.


— The painting starts with a very loose underpainting also in warm browns, and writing — or scribing, as I like to think of it — across the surface:

Loose underpainting and scribing for stowe, vermont, i by Dawn Chandler. Copyright Dawn Chandler 2012.



What am I scribing? Really, anything that’s on my mind at the time…. thoughts…. dreams… 

ambitions… 
observations… 
memories… 
hopes… 
prayers…. 

Why do it?
Because I like it.

The act of writing my thoughts out clears my head before commencing to paint. And I like the idea of imbuing my paintings with this soulful, confessional act.

And then when I paint, sometimes my words bleed through. Landscape traditionalists may balk at that, but I love it. It’s a little “surprise” in the surface of the painting, creating a tension with the depth of realisim.

Detail of scribing across the underpainting of stowe, vermont, i by Dawn Chandler. Copyright Dawn Chandler 2012

Below, details of the finished Phase One painting, stowe, vermont, i. No scribing is bleeding through much on this first painting; it’s more prevalent in some of the others.

Detail of stowe, vermont, i by Dawn Chandler. Copyright Dawn Chandler 2012.

Another detail of stowe, vermont, i by Dawn Chandler. Copyright Dawn Chandler 2012.