Falling

In Falling, the seasonal reference is pretty obvious in the title with the leaf falling and the spider dropping down. My wife and I talk about how spiders also really seem to come out in force as autumn sets in, so I painted this as a gift for her.

Falling, 2005, Acrylic on Canvas, 10 x 8 in., by David Jay Spyker

Falling, 2005, Acrylic on Canvas, 10 x 8 in., by David Jay Spyker

I found a couple of digital images of this piece in progress, so I’ve included them below to give a little insight into the process involved with this particular painting. In the first image you just barely spot a pencil line where the silk thread will be. The leaf is underpainted in yellow ochre and given multiple layers of varying transparency (many of them glazes with acrylic medium) over it to achieve a richer color depth.

In the second image you can see where I am beginning to define the veins, the stem, and the underside areas of the leaf with burnt sienna.

Between the second image and finishing the piece, I painted in some more semi-transparent whites over the violet-toned area at the bottom and left in order to push it back a bit since it was just coming on too strong.

All paints and mediums used were by Golden Artist Colors.


2010 Dec 16, 12:10am
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Northbound

It was one of those strange coincidences – you know when you’ve been thinking about someone, and the phone rings, and you hear that someone on the other end? – something like that.

Only days before Ron Dumont called to ask if I would be interested in lending a painting to a show he would be curating, I had been eyeballing these areas with tall railroad beds not far from home. I thought from below they were like great walls interrupting the flow of the summer landscape, but then, they followed the terrain, and had long since become part of it too. Maybe there was a painting lurking in there somewhere.

Ron said the show would be railroad-themed. What a mysterious bit of providence. I told him I would think about it, and see if the inspiration was there.

After sketching out some unused ideas, and waiting for Autumn to set in deeply enough to strip the leaves from much of the trees and to color most of the rest, the perfect day happened. The cloud cover and lighting were just right, and when the sun got low enough, I found it – true inspiration.

For the past twenty years, we have always lived within distant earshot of the overnight trains that run between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids; “Northbound”, for me, conjures not only that familiar, comforting sound of the horns at night, but also many walks along the tracks with Trish.

"Northbound", 2010, Watercolor and Drybrush on Paper, 21 x 28 3/4 in., by David Jay Spyker

“Northbound”, 2010, Watercolor and Drybrush on Paper, 21 x 28 3/4 in., by David Jay Spyker

You can see “Northbound” along with paintings, photography, and sculpture by nearly thirty artists at “Railroad Days”. The show is on display at the Portage District Library in Portage, Michigan through January 27. Also included are poems inspired by trains, railroad memorabilia, and model trains.


2008 Sep 13, 1:58am
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Autumn Poems

Autumn Silence

Falling.
Falling.

Float down.

Jog left,
Sway right,
And fall
On a tumbling course
Until…

Sky meets base for the first time.

The demeanor of the wind changes
– a scent, imperceptible at first –
Until there is earnest,

And the crow begins its song of gathering
(for it knows it is a songbird).

Rest
Upon loam
And earth.
Curl
Upon self.

Shushh.

~ David Jay Spyker

~~~~~~~

Web

Silver thread,
As tenuous as life,
As persistent as life,
Is strung ’round to capture
Autumn harvest on the wing,
Sustenance,
And chill morning dew.

Nightfall comes
To mask the fleeting warmth
(too soon),
And then…

No more.

~ David Jay Spyker