Sunday, July 24, 2016

Inspired right where I am

Plein air from my deck. Love painting on location but there's something to be said for stay and paint- right where you are! The most inspiring spot can be right in front of you!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Zero In

I went back to the old barn, the "not so pretty" barn and took a closer look. I cropped the scene using a viewfinder made with my hands- right index finger raised, left thumb and index curved into a c-shape. Primitive but it works! 
I found the major shapes I wanted to emphasize and scrubbed it all in with a thinned down Cadmium Red. I wanted to bring the viewers eye to the shape between the buildings so I made it just a bit larger. 
It took me a long time to use that artistic freedom, but I try to determine what will make a better painting and then do those things. I don't need it to be an exact duplication in oil paint of the scene I'm observing.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Why would you want to paint this old barn?"

Summer road trip to Michigan; making time to paint in Suttons Bay; when I asked permission to paint this old barn from the owner selling strawberries at a roadside stand, she said, "Why this old barn? There are lots of prettier barns around." 
If you like to paint plein air then you know the strange lure of places that aren't particularly pretty. There's an immense appeal to making sense of the jumble, of sorting out shapes, of determining areas of emphasis, not to mention a sort of reverence of these old structures.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cuttyhunk Plein Air

I was fortunate to be part of a group of artists who participated in the first annual Plein Air Festival on the little island of Cuttyhunk. Taking the ferry from New Bedford, MA the scenic and beautiful trip was about an hour of sun and calm seas. We were met by "ambassadors" who gave us a tour of the island in a golf cart so we could choose a spot to paint. I set up in the shade and spent a lovely couple of hours. After painting I walked around exploring the island, watching the other 40 some painters that were part of the event. There was a reception, prizes, sales and then the ferry home.
Sign me up for next year!