This is what it’s all about
This painting I call SeaHawk was made of a Hawksbill Turtle to be the background of a 40-gallon aquarium. But then it occurred to the artist that it would be counter productive to hide most of the painting behind decorations in the tank. And in time, the beautiful painting would be hidden behind algae. So instead I framed it with a cedar frame to be displayed. The creature seems to be yearning to search the entire sea, floating gracefully in the depths.
19″ by 30″ acrylic on panel board
mounted in a cedar frame
SeaHawk represents STRENGTH and GRACEFULNESS. Yet when they are out of the water they are slow and cumbersome. They are hatched in the sand on beaches, and upon hatching they are extremely vulnerable. But mostly, I marvel at their strength.
I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs, its strength and its graceful form. Who can strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate its double coat of armor? (Job 41)
The sea is always a wonderful thing to generate inspiration. This painting is of a turtle under the waves, but I have also painted a scene after Van Gogh above the waves. It’s called Seascape. It portrays the rugged sea with ancient ships navigating the waves.
We know the sea turtles are predators seeking prey. Years ago I learned that truth the hard way. I purchased a small slider turtle and an expensive cobalt blue lobster. Both looked ferocious, and they both were about three or four inches in length. But after one day in the aquarium all I found of the lobster was pieces of shell and severed legs. The turtle seemed content and satisfied. That was a $20 lesson I will never forget.
This painting is about an apocalyptic event. Survival Sky is sort of doomsday, but not a human-species-terminating one. The sky section uses the RT techniques seen in other works using fluid dynamics. The hills and village are painted with gesso and acrylics.
Why Did I paint Survival Sky?
Actually, this project began as an “extinction event.” I was immersed for months studying and experimenting with fluid dynamics (see RT paintings) when the idea sprung to mix techniques. So I thought to make the sky section RT, and rest of the work acrylics with blades and brushes. Survival Sky happened out of the fourth trial! A few versions were much darker, no one would survive them. When I finish them I suppose they should go on the black market for those focused on death.
16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
on a MightyWood stretcher
What Does it Mean?
Jesus had a few strong warnings about the end times, but my painting isn’t so much religious as it is contemplative. Whatever you believe, or whatever your faith is, it’s natural to think about perilous times and the hope to get through them. The background skyscape in Survival Sky is frightening and threatening, but not lethal. The previous trials are red-based and unsurvivable.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
Yep, let’s cut those days short. That’s why I went with the blue-based sky for now. Don’t worry though, the day will come when I’m in a really sour mood and I’ll finish and publish what I will call, “Extinction Sky.”
RT Instability Discovered
This past year I’ve been exercising my vast knowledge of science (NOT) and applying it to art by using RT, or Raleigh-Taylor Instability. This technique allows amazing effects in painting because of the reaction of paints with differing densities.
By experimentation I found out that certain colors work, and likewise some do not. Also, adding silicone generated interesting cells in the paint. The canvas prep for these paintings was also critical due to the interaction of the pigments.
It seems that I was inspired by attending my high school reunion in Aurora, Illinois, I suppose because a plethora of memories came to the front. The past influences our memories and emotions, and the results seem cosmic.
Actually, cosmic is a good word for this phenomena because it is same concept that occurs in outer space when we see photos of nebula and formations. The gases and elements are reacting in the same manner as my paints do, but on a much larger scale.
The Rayleigh–Taylor instability, or RT instability (after Lord Rayleigh and G. I. Taylor), is an instability of an interface between two fluids of different densities which occurs when the lighter fluid is pushing the heavier fluid.Wikipedia
RT Instability Applied
After doing a series of these paintings it became clear that it is very unpredictable how they would turn out. I experimented with different acrylics, silicones, and other additives. But the weird thing was that even if I used the EXACT same components, the results would vary.
I guess that’s how life is… we plan, prepare, study, etc., but it’s never totally predictable what will happen. Only God knows what will happen and when it will happen and how it happens. That’s where stability can be found. Especially because He loves us despite our “instabilities.”
Each RT painting is unique, and as the JAX collection, they’re like snowflakes and no two are the same.
I build my own stretchers and cut my own canvas, so any dimension can be produced up to about 72″.
RT Instability Collection Pricing
I sell them upon request at: .50 cents per square inch on stretched canvas.
Here are a few cost examples:
8″ x 10″ on canvas = $40
12″ x 14″ on canvas = $84
16″ x 20″ on canvas = $160
24″ x 30″ on canvas = $360
36″ x 48″ on canvas = $864
The same pricing applies to the JAX (after Jackson Pollock) collections. Click HERE for an example.
ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.
Seascape is a painting about danger and adventure. Nobody wants to be in danger at sea, but if you want adventure it may require something that puts you in harms way.
The Navy hymn is from a poem written in 1860 by William Whiting based on Psalm 107:23. Here is the first stanza . . .
Eternal Father, strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!
You get that out-to-sea feeling in the movie, “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Most of us, thankfully, have never been so far out in gigantic waves, but life often makes us feel that way. I can remember days in my life when I felt lost at sea. Those experiences are in the past, and I’m glad for that. I hope anyone who looks at this painting can see the storm as something they got through, not something they are facing in front of them.
My Seascape painting came out darker and scarier that Vincent’s. It seems almost as if a great white shark is about to surge from the background!
18″ by 24″ acrylic w/ blades
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
On display at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Vincent seemed to be facing storms most of his life. He was never appreciated by his peers. Local townspeople scorned him. Young people taunted him. He only sold one painting while still alive (Red Vineyard). He was rejected and denied love.
But he had his brother Theo who stood with him to the end. He provided supplies and income for Vincent and was always there for him. Because of Theo, Vincent was able to totally devote his life to art. Vincent died at the age of 37, Theo at 33.
Seascape at Saintes-Maries by Vincent van Gogh
Sowing is what we all do for all of our life… then we reap what we sowed. It seems to me this Van Gogh masterpiece of the Sower speaks through the centuries. We all agree that our selfishness can lead to loneliness, our greed can lead to gluttony, and our cowardice can lead to shame. But we also know our kindness can lead to friendship, our generosity can give others hope, and our courage can make a difference. A great man once wrote,
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone. Galatians 6
The painting of the Sower (Van Gogh’s title is “Sower With Setting Sun“), addresses a much wider theme than the obvious agricultural one. The student studies hard to get good grades and to prepare for a future career. The athlete works out so he can win. The actress practices so she can dazzle audiences. The musician spends tireless hours to be the best. Whatever we do, we reap what we sow.
18″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
I can apply this idea ad nauseam, but it is one of the truest things in life. There are exceptions, you know like, “Bad things can happen to good people,” and visa-versa. But it holds up most of the time. Actually, a sad example of that is Vincent van Gogh. It seems to me he got a bum rap in life. Some of it he may have brought on himself, and some historians think he suffered from mental illness, but it has always bothered me that he didn’t benefit in his short life from his great paintings. However, many of his family did.
Van Gogh’s original painting is 25″ x 32″
Like many people in Central Florida, I migrated from the north, northern Illinois to be exact. I was born in Aurora, and lived a good chunk of my life in Chicago. So I LOVE snow. When we would get blizzards coming off the great plains and swirling over Lake Michigan and hitting us again with lake effect, it was awesome. However, sad for me, most schools stayed open unless it was a Mass Extinction Event. Landscape With Snow takes me back.
But I have fond memories of walking to school through deep snow. We would build snow forts and have snowball fights. My teacher, Sister Mary Thaddeus, would join us. She threw a nasty snowball!
16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
in a natural Cedar frame
Van Gogh achieved a special atmosphere in this great painting. So much so that it was requested to be displayed at the White House. Sadly, all that came back was an insult. Art ought to be above politics, and thousands of DC visitors would have enjoyed it.
In Donald Trump’s role as President of the United States, he and First Lady Melania Trump asked the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to let them borrow Landscape with Snow to decorate the White House’s Executive Residence. The Guggenheim’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, declined, offering America, an 18K gold toilet, by contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan instead. – Wikipedia
Landscape With Snow / Van Gogh 1888
The original was oil on a 15″ x 18″ canvas, so mine is slightly larger. I’ve never felt confident painting snow. It’s tricky and hard to paint. But it seems using blades instead of brushes worked this time. Pure luck! If ANY President or First Lady requests it, I will donate my version. For now, it is on display in the entryway of KellGrace Salon.
In Chicago Rain, I’m looking back at the years of my youth and strength. I grew up in Aurora, but spent two decades in the urban bliss of the Windy City. I married there, and all three of my children were born at the Swedish Covenant Hospital on the Northwest side.
10″ x 12″ acrylic with blades
on a solid wooden block
Actually, Aurora is considered a part of “Chicagoland,” as it is only forty miles west. A city itself, but small compared to Chicago with about 100,000 population, hardly a village. We actually had a twenty-story skyscraper in town. But the allurement of the big city is magical. Let me tell you about my first trip to the big city, many years before Chicago Rain. I was in 8th grade and along with two of my pals, decided to skip school and go to Chicago. None of us were old enough to drive, but Aurora has a commuter train that goes straight into Union Station. Back then the tickets were probably less than ten bucks, so we saved up for our big hooky day trip!
I thought I was street wise, but it turned out I was not. At 14, the world belonged to me; Chicago was just the first stop. We got off the train in Union Station and somehow got out on the streets through the throngs of humanity. No problem, easy peasy. I was tough, Chicago streets did NOT scare me. (They should have.) We roamed around aimlessly acting as if 100-story skyscrapers were normal things, but our necks were bent a lot that day.
Then we ventured into the subway system. We acted cool, yet had no idea how to read the complicated maps on the station walls and in the trains. While transferring from the NW routes to the Southside routes, I got separated from my friends. They were ahead about twenty or thirty bodies in the sardine can of the subway car. When they got off, I had to rush to an exit or be forever on my own.
Running as fast as I could, I spotted them ahead going up a huge escalator. Some pals they were – they didn’t even notice I WAS MISSING! I jumped on the escalator and found myself squished in the midst of a large group of teenage boys. (Hmm, I thought, why weren’t they in school?) Must be trouble-makers for sure. Or wait, worse . . . gang members? Yikes, they didn’t smile at me, but glared.
That’s the last thing I remembered until my friends were splashing water in my face to wake me up on the floor at the top of the escalator. And for some reason all of my pockets were empty. Too bad those punks couldn’t find a rich kid to rob. All they got from me was a couple of bucks and my comb (don’t need one of those anymore.) Then the swelling in my face and head started. They sucker-punched me!
Chicago Rain is a painting about years later when I moved to the city. I was much more cautious and wise, and instead of a gang, I found the love of my life (click on the about link below to see her).
Eerie Lake Eola is a creation of contrasting feelings based on a real lake in Orlando, Florida. It is a city of lakes, but right in the middle is a small one called Lake Eola. It’s a place of dreams come true. Not far from Disney World, Universal, Sea World, and a plethora of entertainment venues, Lake Eola is renowned as an urban focal point. Many great events are held there to the delight of the locals and vacationers alike. It’s a very special place, especially since it is in the middle of a major city.
Where is Eerie Lake Eola?
One visitor wrote,
Lake Eola Park is an oasis located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Amazing variety of birds, great place to dog and people watch. Restaurants and bars located within view of the Park. Great place to hang out.
16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
on panel board in a black wooden frame
Why is Lake Eola My Subject?
But in my conception the lake is viewed at night, and from a darker insight. It may come from my first visit to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. As a ten-year old kid I was excited to go on a big trip to a lake, but my fun was ruined because I was abandoned in a boat for hours. It wasn’t a traumatic experience, however, it was a disappointment. I even had a fishing pole, although fishing by oneself is lonely.
That may have altered my idea of lakes, but there are also the skyscrapers. In my painting these structures emote an urban lostness and sense of despair. The huge darkened monoliths with illuminated windows convey humanity in the background. A lake is a place of life, yet here it is bordered by a sort of life that offers no hope. Eerie. The scene conveys a gray and clouded sky joined with streaks above and below resulting in a strange mood. Humanity may not be lively in this picture, but there is life.
I zoomed in and took only a portion of this scene because I was eyeing the tower. I wanted to make it about the tower. Sorry, I left the ploughman out. I’m sure he won’t mind since he has been gone for over 100 years. 🙂 I named it “Vincent’s Old Tower,” to honor him, and it seemed to fit. The reddish tints in the background sky add mood.
18″ x 11″ acrylic on canvas
on a sturdy MightyWood Stretcher
Towering above the pastoral countryside,
the ancient structure sees all
and can be seen by all.
Vincent’s Old Tower
Vincent van Gogh loved to paint everything around him. He did, “The Old Tower at Nuenen with a Ploughman” in 1884 . . .
I find Van Gogh’s textures and treatment of everyday scenes the most inspirational. He could really capture life as it is. Viewing his art makes you feel like you want to be there, living in that moment. More than anything, I want to strive to do that. Vincent’s Old Tower reminds me of my childhood when I was exploring. I would wander everywhere to see what I could and to discover things. It got me in trouble sometimes, but I don’t think I could’ve done otherwise.
My Own Vincent’s Old Tower
It was not a pleasant thing to have the Aurora police call me down from the top of a water tower on top of a factory building. But, man was it cool. First, I had to squeeze through the fence around the factory. Eazy-Peezy. Then I had to find the fire escape ladders on the five story building and get up to the first rung. No prob. After climbing to the top of the flat roof, I found the location of the water tower. Oh man, they had a fence around it way up on the roof. Why would they do that? Who would get that far anyhow?
Oh yeah, I did. But scaling a six-foot wire fence was also Eazy-Peezy. From there it was a relaxing climb up about a hundred steps on a steel ladder. Once on top it was a little tricky keeping balance, but hey – you wanna live forever? But I will admit when I crested the tippy-top of the bubble I was feeling woozy… especially when I saw the flashing cop lights down below. How did they know I was up there?
But wow, I could see the whole town. It was exhilarating. When I got down, my chauffeurs were patiently waiting to escort me home in style. Mom was pissed though.
I just know if I lived in 1888 in Nuenen, Netherlands, I would have visited Vincent’s Old Tower.