Friday, January 11, 2013

From the Back Burner - Day 10 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Today was one of those brown and grey winter days in the north. In the country, a day like this can be beautiful  with the shapes of bare trees silhouetted  along hill tops. But in suburbia, it's just plain dreary. It's been so dark all day, that there wasn't even a chance of photographing my day 10 painting. For day 10 of this challenge I headed out yesterday to a nearby park to work plein air. My usual method for plein air work is to work large, getting as much of the scene down as I can and returning as often as I need. Then I finish it to my satisfaction in the studio. It's a method that has worked for me since I first began plein air painting many years ago. But lately I've become dis-satisfied with the amount of time it takes to finish a work. Sometimes I even lose enthusiasm for whatever it was that inspired me in the first place. So I've started to work  more quickly entirely on site even if that means having to work smaller.There's truly no substitute for working from life. Everything is different. There are subtleties of color and light and shape that photos just don't capture. My painting which hopefully I can post tomorrow,  is a study of trees on a lake edge in the late afternoon light. The water kept changing every two minutes and each change was more interesting than the last. I finally had to choose just one option and stick with it. 

Afternoon Shadows - oil on canvas panel - 7"x 9"
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  1. Looking forward to seeing the painting! I agree that there is no substitute for working from life. I read a quote, I think from Don Demers, that read, "painting from a photo is like kissing someone through a screen door." I thought that was a rather apt description!

  2. I just visited your website. Your pieces are incredible. Congratulations. Eva

    1. Thank you somuch Eva! I really appreciate your comments!


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