It was 64F degrees today. Tomorrow is forecast to be warmer yet. I’ll be painting young leaves before too long. I spent today in my ‘backyard’, north of town where there are so many of the farms that I’ve been painting lately. I’m beginning to become pretty intimate with the lay of the land and I enjoy that familiarity. Snagged some beautiful pussy willows today as well!
“Old White Truck” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a farm that has intrigued me since I found it last winter. I’ve taken photos and even started a nocturne with it as the subject. But I’d never painted it from life. I can’t stress to much how important it is to first paint from life, no matter what the results, even if you are going to use photo reference for a studio painting in the end. Until this little painting today, I could not see everything that was there using a photo. I stood in the same location, but your ‘M-1 Eyeballs’, as my flight instructor used to say, are your best tool for anything visual (when flying or painting I guess). I just love the accumulated ‘stuff’. It’s like patina on a bronze. It can’t be made to be there, it just organically happens. I love that.
“Lunch Time” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Middle of the day on a bright day. A formula for no shadows, no definition, no contrast. None the less, plenty of challenge for a painter! I decided to take it on by the horns, then go to lunch.
“Cue The Cows” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
They weren’t there when I started to paint. I looked up about a third of the way into the painting and... there they were! Perfect. They’re pretty small, but so is the painting.
“Park Twins” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
In the Wisconsin side of the Interstate Park this time. These two trees stood apart and stood alike from the other leaning trees around them. They had a strong look, looking over the beautiful St. Croix River and the Minnesota hills in the distance. I see green!