We were blessed this past weekend with weather that was made for painting in. It was dry with good atmospheric moisture, despite a pretty low dew point, and the winds were calm to dead calm. Having been in the studio working on some paintings for the November NOLA show, I took advantage of the good weather and snuck out and did these four 11x14's on my 'easel break' each day starting on Friday night.
'Friday Evening' - oil on linen - 11x14 - © Marc R. Hanson '08
A sky full of clouds got me out to try to capture the warmth of the evening. I pulled over at the first wide spot and went to work trying to wring out a supporting cast of characters for the cloud dance.
The other thing I am doing (for all of the artist materials junkies out there) is trying out some linen that I haven't used for many years. It's primed with acrylic primer, is Claessens 166 and is my new linen lover! :) For some time I've been searching around to find the best surface for me to paint on considering cost, ease of application of the paint, and it's appearance as a finished product. This linen is looking like a pretty good candidate at this point. My favorite is hand lead primed linen but that is just becoming so expensive that the Scotch in me is holding onto my wallet with a vice grip.
I used two different linens here, the Claessens and Signature Canvas's own acrylic primed linen. Both are great, the Signature linen having a little more pronounced weave than the Claessens. There is no difference to me in the way the paint feels as it is applied and I will be making use of them both as needed. The Signature linen would be perfect for larger paintings, the Claessens is good for smaller pieces. If you haven't checked them out, Signature Canvas offers some great deals on linen by the yard and stretched linen and cotton canvases. I only discovered them in the last couple of months and have used them exclusively now for my linen needs.
These first two pieces are on the Signature linen, and the second two on the Claessens. Enlarge them to see the difference in weave. It's really nice to have these kind of weapons in the arsenal. :)
'White Barn' - oil on linen - 11x14 - © Marc R. Hanson '08
I am a roller skier and this barn is on the 18 mile route that I ski, I pass it every time out. Saturday morning I had a wonderful ski session and decided that when I got home and showered, I would come back and paint it. The skies were blue but dark with moisture, causing the barn to stand out with a lot of contrast in value and temperature. The kind of thing that I like to paint.
'Chrome Yellow Evening' - oil on linen - 11x14 - © Marc R. Hanson '08
Same day as the White Barn painting. But I went out around 7:30 or 8:00 in the evening. The reward was a sky full of warmth, winds calm and a joy to paint.
'Balsam Branch Mill Pond' - oil on linen - 11x14 - '08
On Sunday morning I drove east of here about 20 minutes into Wisconsin. The area I chose to paint in is called D.D. Kennedy county park. It used to be an old grist mill and is now a beautifully preserved chunk of native prairie and woodland along the Balsam Branch river, near Balsam Lake, WI. Just a calm, quiet morning to be there.