Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Minimum Maintenance


"Minimum Maintenance" - oil on linen - 24x24 - © Marc R. Hanson '09

This is a piece about a road that I've painted in nearly all seasons and light, including at night. In the Rochester area it was a spot within about ten minutes of my house that I could escape to, park in safety and paint at almost any time. It is a 'minimum maintenance' road, meaning that the county doesn't do much other than take a look at it once in awhile. That was fine with me.

This started out so different than what it looks like here that I'm amazed at it myself. It started as a blue sky, popcorn cumulus day with green fields. The kind of day that you'd expect to see a French impressionist out painting! As I had a layer of paint down and was deciding what it was that I didn't like about it, I realized that it was too 'pretty' of a day. At that point I started going through my field studies to see what I could come with in the way of a color scheme that was more interesting to me. I found this one to use as reference for the sky. Once I was happy with that idea, I was able to key the rest of the painting to that sky. That's how this one worked. I'm pretty happy with it from the standpoint of color and the textural side of things. This photo just does not allow you to see that... dang photos anyways. There are about four or five layers of paint scumbled, overpainted, one or two scraped off, and dry brushed on to this painting. This is where I feel my painting is going, worked until there is a richness to the surface that has to be seen to be appreciated. It's not a heavy, trowled on, applied in one session sort of texture... it's more subtle than that. If I want the alla prima, at the moment, urgent sort of quality, I'll head outside. But in the studio I really enjoy this kind of building of the surface look of the paintings.

Here's the sky reference piece. From last July, "Friday Evening" - 11x14 - oil on linen - © Marc R. Hanson.


I'm going to ad to this post. Some questions have come up... thank you... about the kind of surface I'm looking for in my paintings, studio paintings that is. I don't know if these closeups will really show what I'm getting at, but it's worth a try!

All of these close up shots are of about 4" - 6" of the actual painting's surface. If you enlarge these, they're probably about twice life size. But I think that you'll see that I'm not as interested in 'pounds' of paint for the sake of weight alone. I'm more interested in an opalescent mixing of scumbled passages, dry brush, semi transparent glazes. I like the interest in surface appearance that working like this gives the finished piece. When I head to museums to visit the masters, this is what intrigues me most about their genius.

I forgot that I had this one ready to add to this discussion the other day.












These are sections of other studio paintings of late.









18 comments:

Linda Schweitzer said...

Wow, Marc, I totally relate to a scene being too pretty to be interesting! Your description of the surface, after all your corrections sounds very intriguing. I was hoping you would show close-ups. The painting looks great from a distance (what we see on the internet) though.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Linda. I'll try to shoot a closer view tomorrow.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

I too, am interested in seeing the texture in your paintings. These are lovely, the light is quality is wonderful! Wow what color! Good choice for the sky reference.

Donna T said...

Thanks for explaining why and how you changed this one, Marc. It sure came out nice! Did you invent the shadow in the foreground too? It works so well and is believeable because of the clouds. Oh, congrats on your award in the Pastel Journal!

Anonymous said...

This has a stark Edward Hopper feel to it...I like it. :-)

Eugene

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Carol, Donna and Eugene. I am hoping that the new pics I posted help to explain some of this.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Donna... the shadow was there. One of the reasons that I stopped that day and shot a photo. It created the drama for me.
And thanks for the note about the Pastel 100. :-)

Solvay said...

Those close-ups --- thanks for those! Seeing the details of your work is an eye-feast. So wonderful to see the layers of paint and intricacies your application! Thanks so much! Beautiful colors and textures.

Solvay said...

But, your main, top painting. Ah, that light. I remember the July painting, having been out rollerblading that night and then seeing your painting of exactly that light and atmosphere. Nice memory.
But the new one - it's dreamy. Magical. It's the summer of the imagination - even better than the real thing. What a nice thing to see on a snowy night. Thank you for the warmth, the light, the glorious color! and for the peaceful, carefree road.

LSaeta said...

Really amazing Marc. Your painting is so serene and beautiful.
So, you do know that you have had a HUGE impact on my painting abilities, right? In case I forgot to mention it, thank you! I really love painting and your influence is greatly appreciated.
Leslie

Ben Bauer said...

those close ups leave us in ah!!! Hey linen guy here what linen is the mini maintenance on?

B

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Solveg. I agree about those warm July evenings... I'm ready. Though skiing is still good...

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Leslie... Thank you... that is truly appreciated. Here I figured I probably caused you to prefer to take up basket weaving or fly tying!!!
I jest, of course. Your work has been improving, no doubt, and if I've been one small part of that, I'm very proud. Thanks.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hey Ben Guy! Congratulations on OPA... again!!!

That is Frederix RIX double 'oil' primed. No longer lead. :>( But I still love the texture of this linen.

Thanks Ben.

Ben Bauer said...

Hey I have found no matter the initial surface if you go in with the intent that you are going to layer - what's the matter if it is too absorbent..... The more one layers the more things like this painting happen>) I am as I have noted in the past... but not really done, going into a new realm of painting..... I am working on a really smooth surface of 4 layers of gesso over PVA size on Rockler purchased Baltic birch. I am going to charcoal my initial drawing in, and build layers of lean then to fat. This is a technic I did while in college, and want to return to that. I have for many years now always loved the thick and luscious surface of thick alla prima paint and still do!!! But a new direction can give to further results!!!!! Maybe I will in the last layers give those big juicy strokes a try!!!!!! More to come on my blog as I develop these images - right now 4 image 24x30 on this surface. may even coat the charcoal with matte medium David Maass style, really loved that surface for the years I badly painted ducks!!!!:>)

B

Michael Pieczonka said...

Inredible brushwork Marc! I love the way you handle the soft edges.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Ben I can't wait to see what you do. I agree, and only latley have come to really like spending time building up those layers. Alla prima is a great way to paint but I'm find myself wanting more depth in the surface.
What are you going to brace those panels with and how???

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Mike. It's all about the edges...