Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cotton Candy Winter Day


"Cotton Candy Winter Day" - oil on board -14x18 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Painted about 95% with palette knives. A few strokes of a Langnickle here and there for weeds, tree branches, to soften a knife stroke, and that sort of thing.

Well I was out last week painting a dried up dirt field with no snow, a little bit of ice in the furrows, a 16x24 painting. Started out nice and I had an old chocolate lab from a nearby farm for company the entire time, as long as I'd reach down and scratch his brick of a skull every once in awhile. I was loving working large on site, and on this board that I'm back to now. The problem is that it was so nice to be out on such a calm, sunny, winter day, that I didn't care as much about my choice of what to paint as I just cared about being out "painting".

Consequently, despite putting in a couple of days back in the studio on that one, the idea...concept... just wasn't there. I mean a painting full of dried up dirt??? I just couldn't wrap my "spirit" around that one.

So a couple of days ago I was thinking about how beautiful our winter had been until recently. By the way as of this morning, it's back to white, we had a fair amount of snow. But I was thinking about a few weeks ago when Kami and I were out in the country side on one of the most beautiful days that I think I've ever seen in winter. It reminded me of scenes from the old movie 'Dr. Zhivago' and those scenes of Omar Sharif and Julie Christie riding the sleigh, or hiking on foot in the Russian winter. With that in mind, I spent a couple of days in the studio working out this painting from that experience and thought.

We experienced a winter wonderland for sure that day and I'm sure that it's going to be a source of inspiration for images for us both for a long time to come.

Here's the trailer from the movie, "Dr. Zhivago", 1965.

20 comments:

Robin Roberts said...

Some day I might be brave enough to go out in the snow and cold to paint. I really don't like snow much but you make it seem somewhat bearable. I am interested in what board that you are so happy to be painting on again?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Robin... This is a studio piece. I just added that to the blog post. But, it would have been nice to paint that day, we tried but too late for the light, as the temps were very moderate.

The board is acrylic primer and pumice on hardboard with a good amount of texture.

Anonymous said...

Marc your paintings prove time and again that one doesnt need to paint LARGE to make a big statement.

Eugene

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Stunning!

Marian Fortunati said...

This is an absolutely beautiful piece.
Did you invent the scene and just draw it out from your mind, or had you done some studies earlier or photos that you used?
I actually can't imagine sitting in the snow painting, but I know a lot of you wonderful people who live in snowy areas do that.
However you accomplished this one... it's a real winner!

Kim VanDerhoek said...

The warm earth tones in the foreground road were such a great choice to help me along to your focal point. I don't think any other color would have been as effective or as interesting. As always, beautiful!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Eugene. Thank you. Glad that you're "able" to be back here. Thanks for letting me know that was an issue.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Carol. I really, really enjoyed painting this color scheme and mood.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Marian thank you very much. This is painted from photo reference taken that day. It was magical, like something that you'd dream up if you wanted the perfect snow day. We did paint later in the day but not this particular scene.
As for sitting in the snow, doing anything, for some reason, even though I do have free will, I still stay here. The main enemy of painting in the winter is not snow or even temperature really. It's "WIND"!!! 0 F degrees and no wind is manageable. 20 F degrees and a good breeze will keep me inside at the easel most days.
Thank you for your thoughts.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Kim and thank you. I wish I could claim credit for that idea, the sand/dirt on the road. But it's the material that they use on the county roads in that area that aren't paved. Some areas use gravel of different types and some roads like that are clay.
But, I would say that the reason that I photographed the scene, found it attractive, and then found it still attractive enough now, weeks later, is the combination of light, close values, color combinations and all. That road definitely played a part in the decision to do this. Had it been completely white and untraveled it might not have been as interesting.
Good eye.

Jeffrey Risner said...

Excellent. I can see a lot of thought and effort went into it. The bare tree on the right sets it off.

Jeff Risner

Karen Hargett said...

OMG - this turned out beautiful! I'm sure your painting was fine before you added snow but this is breathtaking now! I can almost feel the snow and cold.

Jeremy Elder said...

You have an impressively dextrous hand with palate knives. Very beautiful work!

Loriann Signori said...

What an absolutely beautiful painting Marc.The contrast between the very soft landscape and the crisp trees with snow is breathtaking.
Congratulations on your award in the prestigious Pastel Journal's Pastel 100.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Jeff. I wouldn't say that thought didn't go into it, it did and always does. But you know how sometimes a painting just seems to paint itself? That's what this one was like in a way.
I think that part of the reason is that there are about six canvases and panels lined up against a wall here that 'did not' happen like that. They weren't (dare I use the word?)... inspired... in their concept.
This one was from an inspirational moment in time and I really believe that that inspiring moment/day made such an impression on me that I didn't really have to do much other than let the painter within me... paint.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Karen. I can see how it might have sounded like I was talking about the same painting, one a dirt field and the other this one. Those were two different paintings though. The dirt field is still dirt.
Sorry for the confusion, but I appreciate your comments. ;-)

Marc R. Hanson said...

Jeremy... Thank you. I usually use a little knife in a lot of my work. Usually just to scrape, mash or draw things like small lines with. In this painting I found out early that the soft edges of the forms, and the 'flat' quality to all the planes within the atmosphere of the scene, lent themselves to being 'mashed' around with the knife. A lot of that has to do with painting on a smooth board vs a 'knobby' linen.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Loriann... Thanks for the comments and the 'congrats'. I have to get an issue of that one. My subscrip ran out and I haven't renewed...
Thanks again.

Nancy Moskovitz said...

Your paintings are always beautiful, but this one really moved me to comment. It would stand out in any landscape exhibit. Beautiful colors and mood. Perfect name.

Solvay said...

It looks EXACTLY like Dr. Zhivago.
ho ho ho
1 2 3
i love the snow!

Love that movie, thanks for the trailer to it, and mostly, thanks for the great painting! I can hear the sleigh runners in the snow as I look at it!