Thursday, January 31, 2013

Harvest Moon Progress

Here is the initial block in of another photo I took in Maine.  I had also done a small drawing and field study of a similar landscape in the area, the deciduous trees with pines behind and large grassy field.  This photo was the same evening as "That Time of Day" just down the road from the coastal image.  This is hardly more than a drawing at this stage, but I have keyed it to the darkest value of the mid-value range.  I wanted this to be a higher key painting but still feel the strong sunlight.  Sorry for the phone pics - they are not so great!

My first idea was to bring the shadows from the side of the road back up into the light, but this was coming across as monotonous and boring.  After one look from Marco and "again with the rows??", I decided that the original idea had to go.  After about four more fixes, the final lead in is below....

The field cuts were limited to two that brought one in from left to right and then back again.  A final lifting of the horizon line to clearly give it more depth seemed to finalize the composition and then the work was done keeping the value masses solid and temperature shifts within those masses to give dimension.  I did much more palette knife with this painting than the others as a means to create more texture.  As I sit with it for awhile, that may or may not be tempered a bit.  Here is a better photo of the piece in it's final (?) state :)  I plead the right to change my mind at any time!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

An empty studio....again

This is what my studio looked like at 9:00 am this morning and now it's empty.  It's probably hard to understand why this brings a little heartbreak I'm sure - Marco sure doesn't think so!  I just framed them last night and I am SO happy with the presentation.  Tony did such a fantastic job of designing this new frame.  I didn't get a chance to live with them for very long and I enjoyed painting this series so much.  Each piece was like I was back in Maine again, eager to learn and explore.  I've already got my next series in mind, but not quite ready to move on yet!  Maybe it's time for a little cooking :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

That Time of Day!

You know what I'm talking about ....  for a fleeting five minutes at best the sun goes down on the landscape and creates a glow from within!  We have it on our mountain behind me every night and each and every night, I stand by my window looking for it.  I come to depend on it - it means a new day starts soon, another day to cherish and at the end of the day I look forward to dessert - like a cherry on top:)  That beautiful glow!  This painting in particular is by Rockport, Maine.  My classes have been asked to do a high key painting, using color as the contrast instead of relying on value.  I don't ask them to do anything I don't make myself do - so here it is.  Much brighter than anything I have done before, but still the values are high and close.  I think I'll start another tonight.  Something has to be part of your experience, part of your tools before it becomes natural for you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Burning Bush, 28x36 oil on linen panel

Another Maine painting, two more to go!  In this piece, I wanted to express the rough texture of the building, the field and the bushes up front.  I worked with alot of palette knife and dry brush.  Again, as with the other paintings in this series, subtle color temperature shifts were used to unify value patterns and create space.  My next painting will be a little higher key and challenging to makes those shifts successful!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inland, 22x36

This is perhaps the piece that I was the most excited about painting from the trip to Maine.  I have been afraid of it since doing the original little field study.  It was inland from the coast and it was a very rainy, sodden day.  The colors were so saturated from the moisture and the leaves were just beginning to turn.  My favorite naples color was splashed across the greens, giving it such drama and direction.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Coastal Country II - study in cools

Still working on the Maine paintings!  One of my all-time favorite painters is Twachtman.  I love his cool palettes, even though this does not come naturally for me.  My sensitivity lends itself toward the warm, so it is long overdue to start stretching myself in that direction.  And boy did it feel like a stretch!  Thalo green????  How many times do I have to modify it before it's not nails on a chalkboard???  Throw into the mix the "fish out of water" structure aspect and you can imagine it's been a tough couple of days.  I am DETERMINED though to keep challenging myself and develop new experiences.  If they come close to portraying my experience in Maine, I will have succeeded at this stage in the game.  Tomorrow, I may go back to comfortable, but today was about going outside my comfort level!

Again, keeping the value patterns close with temperature shifts to develop the space was my ultimate objective.  The barn changed values (lower) about five times!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coastal Country

This is another painting done from my time spent in Maine.  It's fascinating to me how three miles from the rugged and rocky beaches are amazing forests, trees so thick you can't see the roads.  This piece is not quite finished yet, but I have to live with it for a while to gain back some objectivity.  It has a sister piece that I will work on tomorrow to give myself a little time away from this.  I'm also working on a few more drawings that will eventually become part of the series.  I really can't remember being so excited to get down to my studio every morning and I'm dragging myself back upstairs well into the evening.  Every painting has scared the daylights out of me, but I am determined to pull off a body of work that reflects how I felt about my trip!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Finalizing my classes for Jan - March. Wednesday mornings 10am and Wednesday evenings 7 pm. This class is requires dedication! We will work in series, exploring design, design, design, color and composition and taking your work in your personal emotional direction. We will do critique, lecture and demonstration as well as business aspects. Call me or email to let me know who's in. Will also do skype while class is going on!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Maine Paintings 2013

I'm really excited about the next series of paintings!  They are coming from my trip to Maine this fall.  This one is called Passages, 36x48 oil on linen panel.  It's the first of at least five.  I'm waking up in the middle of the night wanting to work!  Look for structures.....