Wednesday, February 25, 2009
"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.