Thursday, March 19, 2009

New paintings.


'Outlet' - oil on panel - 14x11 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Since Monday, the day of the warm wind and turkeys, it's been windy with variation in how cold or warm it is. But one thing has been consistent, the wind. I don't like wind other than for sailing and kite flying. It interferes with everything else that I like to do.

The first painting is from Tuesday morning, a day that started out with promise. However, the filtered sunlight and warm start only lasted until I was about half way through this painting. Around 11:00 am a northwestern cold front settled in with fast dropping temps, 1/4 mile visibility, wind and mist! This front cut a distinct line diagonally across the state and I think that I was right on it. It was nasty!!! I didn't think that I had enough of this one done, couldn't stop shaking to see if I did. But when I got it home I realized that with about five minutes of cleaning up some snow, it was OK. I like the mood and I like it as a color study. That was it for the day for me. I went out with clothes for sun and temps in the low 50's, not mist, wind and temps in the low to mid 30's.

WEDNESDAY - MARCH 18TH
This morning I met two very good friends, and two very good painters... Mike Rada and Ben Bauer... in Stillwater to paint for the first half of the day. We did better but the wind was still an annoyance. For those who don't do this, the reason it's a pain is that it knocks you around and breaks your concentration. It's not as bad as below zero weather for sure, but we deserve 'nice' by now!

We first painted out on one of our favorite dirt roads, the same spot as the 'Outlet' painting above, with Sandhill cranes, geese and assorted waterfowl as company. Oh, and the wind. Did I mention that??? As soon as we were all finished here, we motored over to the boomsite in Stillwater again to try to get out of the wind. That made a huge difference. We had a great morning and it was great company to be with these two great painters.


"Chilly Spring Day" - oil on panel - 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
An extremely subtle day. My main concern was trying to discern the difference between the dirt and the dead grass. There wasn't much at all, but a slight temperature shift between the two. Trying to paint in telephone poles in a 20 mph wind is not worth the try. Next time I'm going to remember to just not bother with that and do it in the studio upon returning home.


"Breaking Up" - oil on panel - 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I think that we all had more fun at this location. A little more out of the wind, the rawness of the river's spring changes, eagles in flight and lots of waterfowl. The ice is beginning to break up and move out of the river... yesssss!!!

32 comments:

Kim VanDerhoek said...

I love that you went back and painted the same scene from your demo. It's great to compare the two and see what changes and additions you made to bring it to a finished level. This is a great group of paintings especially considering the wind. Even if you have a sturdy easel the detail work at the end does get frustrating doesn't it, with your hand being pushed by the wind and the panel bouncing around. Well, it was worth the effort as these turned out so well!

Judy said...

These are beautiful. I wish I could do one of your workshops. Are you ever in the NEngland area? Judy

Donna T said...

I'm trying to learn about temperature differences and your second painting is such a great example. The trees on the right are slightly warmer than the background trees but the values are about the same. Neat! I'm glad you braved the wind for these - they are beautiful.

Erik said...

Hi Marc,
Your paintings are always very inspirational. I hope you'll be doing a painting DVD in the near future.

AnnG said...

Lovely paintings!

Teresa said...

As always your work is a feast for my eyes! Gorgeous!

Kami Polzin said...

Beautiful subtlety Marc! I especially love "Outlet". This is such difficult stuff to paint, you painted it very poetically. :)

Marc R. Hanson said...

Kim this is a favorite spot to paint, one that is frequented... frequently! Thank you. :)

It's windy... again! :0

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Judy. I'll be in the Brewster, NY area in August. My website has the details. See you there?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Donna... Did you know that there is extremely sensitive equipment ( really good thermometers) that can measure 'spectral' temperatures. Blues measure at lower temps than reds and yellows! It's not just an association with 'ice' and 'fire' and the color of those elements. Remember, move your eyes around, don't spend too much time on any one area of the subject in order to get a better sense of the "RELATIVITY" of temperature, hue and value.

That day in the painting that you're referencing, the difference was so subtle that I had to expand the differences slightly in order to illustrate the boundaries between. Very, very tricky. But that is also the beauty of these kind of days. Compare that to full fall foliage...yuck! I'll take the subtle day, any day.

Thanks for the comments.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Erik... That's my sons name, good name.

Well, who the heck knows??? Maybe. I'm glad that the paintings bring that to you. In that case, I feel successful.

Thank you.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Ann.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Teresa. I miss not being in No. Cal this year. But... I have wind here so what's to miss!

I hope your painting is going well.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Kami... That painting shouldn't have worked out for me. I thought it was a goner when I left that spot. We've talked about how sometimes the most difficult situations produce better results. Maybe this was one of those time.
We should go painting there...;-)

LSaeta said...

I am so in awe as to how you can paint such beautiful works in such horrid conditions. Make all of us California painters seem like wimps! Oh well ... it is sunny, clear and a non-windy day here ... again ... tee ... hee ...

Marc R. Hanson said...

Leslie... oh Leslie... now be nice! ;-)
It really only makes me wonder why I left there????

I'm not sure I could take all of that sun anymore anyway. That might just be too nice. What would there be to complain about?

Bye....

Carol Horzempa said...

I'm glad to see paintings of the wonderful early springs in the mid-west. I live next door in Wisconsin and can relate to the wind and cold, though I am a novice at plein air.

I really admire how you paint trees, the softness of the distant trees and the closer ones with just a few suggestion of thin branches.

May I ask what kind of brush you use for thin lines and if you use a painting medium?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Carol. Are you along the river... LaCrosse?

Thanks for the comments.

In my plein air work I do not use a medium. In the past I have experimented with various mediums in cold weather just as a way of getting that stiff oil to move. Once it warms up though, it's strictly thinner as a medium.

As for brushes, I stay away from small rounds. For me they are too 'regimented'. I prefer a bright, about a #4 or 6 that has been used enough to have almost a filbert shape. At that stage in it's life, the bristles have been worn enough so that if you look at it from the skinny side view it looks almost pointed. The flat sides are also worn to a chisel edge. A brush like this loaded with paint of the right viscosity will draw a line as sharp and fine as a palette knife.

That's the other method to draw those. An inch or slightly longer palette knife, or the end of a sharpened brush handle.

The last tool is any cheap ox, badger or other softer haired brush that has a 'squirrel-y' look to it. Those are also loaded up and used like a feather with the same touch to the panel or linen/canvas. The 'happy accidents' that result can sometimes look more branch like than actually drawing them all in.

Good question. Thanks again.

Vicki Sergent said...

I certainly like these babies, but I, too, am a CA weather wimp--don't know how you do it. I was out late this afternoon until 6 pm in shirtsleeves. I did get chilly at the end, though, and it was windy enough on the high ridge overlooking Laguna Beach, that I had to tie my hat on.

Thanks so much for the information on the methods you use for tree branches. I have a thing for trees, but as a novice they are my nemesis. I think of you as "Mr. Tree" for the subtle way you paint them.

Erik said...

Hi Marc,
While we're in 'Tree-Question-Mode' I have another question about how you do the transition between sky and trees, do you paint the trees over the sky with that badger-type brush you described or is it more a back and forth kind of thing.
Also, do you dry your brushes in a specific way (like Richard Schmid for instance) to keep that edge on the brush?
Thanks, Erik (indeed a good name)

Marian Fortunati said...

Absolutely gorgeous work!! I just stumbled across your site and was stopped in my tracks by your paintings!! THANKS!!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Vicki... "Mr. Tree"??? Some people call me "Sky Man". If I can get "Dirt Man", "Grass Man", "Rock Man", "River Man"... etc., then I should eventually be able to be called "Landscape Man"!!! In that case, I'll feel the journey has been fruitful. :-)

And please, all of you out there who live near some place with name that ends in "...Beach"... I know how nice your weather is already. It's implied! :( We have rain... do you?

Okay, enough weather sparing. I actually chose this place, much to the chagrin of my mother and father who lived in the Sacramento area.

I've always been different.

Anyway, thanks. I'm glad the info helps you guys.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Erik... This is hard to describe, the type of brushes do come into play. But not any one type for any one purpose every time. I scrape, apply, scrape, rub with thumb, reapply with knife, knock down with brush, jab, paint sky, paint branches, scrape all, reapply sky, scrape, apply with bristle....

This is truly the sort of mad scenario that I go through. And the entire time I'm pretty much operating on auto pilot.

It really is an act of 'a little of this and a little of that'. I think that if I do anything that is 'worthy', it's that I almost never do anything the same twice.

One of the most un-interesting things to me in a painting is seeing everything in the image (rocks, streets, leaves, sky, grass, clouds, trees) all treated with the same kind of 'mark' of the tools.

I'm interested in using the appropriate tools and approach to show the character of the texture of each different object being painted. So grass requires (in my book) a different approach than clouds, than rocks, than water.

Most important though is that I'm not duplicating what is in front of me. I'm using what is in front of me as a skeletal structure for the 'concept' that the subject has presented to me to paint.

That way of looking at your subject frees you up to put a little emotion into how you apply the paint instead of trying to paint "branches" specifically. Many times I'm not even conscious of how I'm painting, it's automatic.

I've tried drying the brushes like that too. I have all of the little clips and pieces of cardboard still. It's good, it works.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Marian!!! I'm glad you found me 'cause now I've found you! :) Thanks.

Erik said...

Thanks Mark for that info.
Very informative.
On a side note, I looked at this post http://marchanson.blogspot.com/2008/12/and-now-for-something-completely.html and noticed how your style has changed since '95.

Theresa Rankin said...

These are gorgeous but then everything you do...is...to my eye...beautiful! Because you are so inspiring...I have passed on the Passion for Painting award to you! Check my blog for details!!

LSaeta said...

I left you an award on my blog yesterday. come and get it if you would like!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Theresa and Leslie... Thank you for the blog awards! I don't take that lightly. But I'm going to have to ask for your patience to give me time to get to them and follow through. This project for April is going to consume any time that I have for almost anything else but it. As soon as I can, I will do my part to continue the Passion for Painting award.

Michael Pieczonka said...

Amazing stuff yet again Marc!! I love what you got in "Outlet". The comp is brilliant, and the work in the water reflects is beautiful.

Gwen Bell said...

All of these are absolutely breathtaking! I love your mute palette and quick strokes. Can't wait to explore your blog further! You have a new fan!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Michael... Thanks! You're doing a great job yourself. Your vehicles and street corners are 'classic' good painting! Thank for stopping by.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Gwen. Thank you... and... Welcome.