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The Farmhouse Atelier

Functional Hand Made Home Decor

Lush Mountain

Join us at Muse Vineyards on Sunday the 9th of July from 3-5 PM for the opening reception to “Lush Mountain”. This is an exhibition (my first in quite awhile) of my most recent illustrations. Muse Vineyards is located at 16 Serendipity Lane, Woodstock, VA. They also have a website- www.musevineyards.com. There will be hors d’oeuvres and of course excellent wine.

lush mountain cover pic
A detail of a woodland scene in my “Lush Mountain” series

The paintings in “Lush Mountain” contain all the exuberance and vitality of our rich ancient forests. These pieces are painted largely from memory and the little doodles I make in my sketchbook. My illustrations tend to be very busy-much like my subject matter- with many different points of focus. Like a forest the more closely you look the more you see. Each piece is brimming with local flora and fauna. And while my work is very painterly and cartoonish every species readily identifiable. Here’s another sneak peek-

Lush Mountain sneak peek
Detail of a botanical study exploding with local flora

And if you can’t make it to the grand opening it will be up on the walls for the month of July.

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.

All the greens of May-

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“Woodland Scene VII”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 11 3/4″ x 9 3/4″. C. 2017

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.

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