Monday, May 23, 2011

Redbuds, en plein air, 9" x12"

This is my 3rd plein air painting this year, and so far, the only one I'm happy with.

One thing my 1st one taught me was to paint the center of interest right away. I wanted a blooming peach tree among the delicate green of leafing apple trees, but the painting ended up being about the old, tall house behind my orchard because that's where I started!

I'm not sure exactly what my 2nd has taught me... Everything came out being too colorful, so perhaps to beware of painting under complete shade when your subject is in full sun? I just hope to get the chance to practice some more this year.

This wonderful garden in the middle of a city block belongs to my friend Parmalee and her husband. The garden is the setting for her photographs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Painting, New Look: Seagulls at Dusk, 13" x 18"

The latest version

I decided to take a closer look at old paintings that are still with me despite having been shown over and over, and now are taking precious space on my walls or in the studio.

I started with Seagulls at Dusk, a painting I did in 2007, based on a photo from the Wet Canvas reference library. At the time, I was very happy that I had used the photo reference in a minimal way (see photo at the bottom) and had let my creativity take over.

Lately, all I was seeing where repetitious and boring forms, so I gave myself two choices, to improve it or to trash it. As soon as the wall of conifers in the distance were removed I started seeing new possibilities. For now, I'm happy with the way it turned out as I feel it has some soul, but who knows what will happen in four years...

First version, 2007

photo reference

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marina on the Salmon River, 18"x24"

This is one of the large pieces I had in the show last month.

It was a tricky piece from the very beginning because the photo reference was taken during late afternoon on a cloudy day and I wanted to experiment representing midday light and temperature.

Also, I had to get rid of foreground trees and reeds in order to create a more pleasing composition, and later on, I had to subdue the orange tree in the background because it was detracting attention from the boathouse. All in all, I think it works, but it left me with the need to learn more about the colors during midday hours.