detail from "Dance of the Pelicans"
Almost a year (2019-2020) was spent composing, drawing, painting and refining a mural-sized oil painting, The Procession of Hope and Feathers. At nearly eleven feet wide, it took up most of the painting wall in my studio and an incredible amount of time. Unable to take it down and bring it to a gallery workspace to stretch it due to Covid, I decided that it was a great time to return to easel painting.
Thus began a new series of square paintings, each 16" x 16" x 2", on cradled panels. Many of these are set on the coast of Costa Rica, and feature birds native to Central America.
Linda H. Post
Four figures and four birds unscroll across an eleven-foot expanse of blue sky and green meadow. Two striped tents anchor the left edge, while a figure with a winged helmet perches on the railing of an elaborate gazebo. The Procession of Hope and Feathers takes its title from a poem by Emily Dickinson. Oil on linen, it is 131" x 68".
A preliminary painting of one of the figures in the mural-sized piece, this masked girl precedes the masked world that followed. Hope and Feathers, oil on cradled wood panel, 12" x 12" x 2".
There is a meditative quality to this painting. The warmth of the sunlight, the soaring birds, the billowy clouds, the dancer's pose. This one features the girl in the red tutu from The Procession of Hope and Feathers, prehistoric-looking pelicans (one of my favorite birds) and Monkey Island in Guanacaste, oddly shaped like the head of a gorilla or monkey. 16" x 16" x 2", oil on wood panel. More...
Costa Rica is a spectacular country, full of natural wonders. The setting is the Pacific Ocean, where mounded islets covered in hairy, gnarly trees are dotted along the coastline. The storks of Costa Rica are often wood storks, ominous in appearance but lovely and graceful in flight. Across the Sea of Time is 16" x 16" x 2", oil on wood.
Guanacaste is the title of this painting, an area of Costa Rica that contains coastlines, waterfalls, volcanic pools, and those small islands that captivated my imagination. The ring-necked magpies came to visit every day, landing next to us to talk and ask for food. They are quite large birds, and very striking in appearance. This is a 16" square oil painting on a cradled wood panel.
I watched a little girl in a sundress race across an expanse of lawn by the sea, and I knew I had to paint her. The inclusion of the striped, peaked tents is a continuation of the theme of a long series of paintings. The title of Life is a Carnival is from a song by The Band. Read about it here.
Soliloquy is the fifth in my series of 16" square oil paintings. The setting is still Guanacaste, Costa Rica, loosely based on a photo I took while sailing into the sunset. The exotic birds are flamingos. (How often do you see a flamingo fly? Usually they seem to spend their time wading.) The harlequin costume is almost as flamboyant as the sunset and the flamingos.
The juxtaposition of The Procession of Hope and Feathers (still tacked up on the wall) and Life is a Carnival (on the easel) is a graphic illustration of how difficult it is to change scale. The figures are no longer life-size. The brushes are MUCH smaller. It's all in the details.