If oil painter Judy Hawkins doesn’t like the weather in Vermont, she doesn’t just “wait a moment.” Instead, she creates her own atmosphere on canvas through the use of gestural brushwork and colorful imagination.
Since the early ’60s, Judy took to painting the ever-evolving New England landscape of Vermont, and uses her rustic adobe house in Big Bend Texas for an additional touch of Southern inspiration.
As her landscapes change, so does Judy’s application of color and composition. She works freely, using the paint’s occasional, accidental placement to guide her way toward a piece that is always full of unexpected color and vibrancy.
The pink and white clouds in Judy’s painting, Fall Spice, (shown above) are formed with soft precision, cloaking the thunderheads and creating a gentle harmony with the cheerful blue sky and green prairie in the background.
I immediately get the sense of a looming thunderstorm through Judy’s startling use of black shadows on the ground below, which create the sensation that the clouds really are rolling swiftly across the plains.
Similar colors in the clouds and their respective shadows on the ground create balance to the entire piece. Blue, black and crimson tones frame the bright hues found in the center of the painting, making me sure that I’m just seconds away from being caught in a downpour.
With Edge of the Woods, I’m automatically transported into the movie, Avatar. If only I could struggle through the forest’s “jail cell” of vertical twigs to the fairytale landscape that lies beyond. The prominent twigs contrast greatly with the effervescent hues blending lazily in the background, giving a unique perspective to the piece.
What I enjoy the most about this piece is the surprising use of neon yellow to accentuate twigs that appear close enough to reach out and grab.
Last but not least, Judy’s signature use of spontaneous color and composition works just as well in this slightly more calculated painting, Studio Reflection.
Years of painting experience are seen in the ripples, reflections and fluid hues found in the water. . . and as each brushtroke pinpoints a different ripple, flower, stone or plant, it’s hard not to feel a sense of peacefulness and relaxation.