Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

This morning started out promising, full sun and temps in the low 30’s. A little bit of wind, dang wind, but manageable. I was able to use an umbrella to block the sun without the easel taking off. By late morning, early afternoon we had a sky full of very chilly looking clouds, broken with little bits of sky showing, but the wind had picked up and it just felt and looked cold. I was going to explore the farmland all day but by the last painting I had had enough of the open landscape and headed to the park down along the river to get out of it. The afternoon light just never materialized into strong sunlight for the rest of the time that I was out. I’m eagerly anticipating more sun... and more heat! A good day none the less. Met some kids who are also artists and who thought that I was doing an OK job.

‘Prairie Shed’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
To tell you the truth... I was so ecstatic at the sun being out and blazing onto the face of these grasses and the rest of the landscape that I let the color boil a little bit. Meaning that I wanted to paint the joy I had more than I wanted to paint the color as grey as it might have been in reality. I didn’t go that far out of my way to make it more saturated, but this is a painting that is more about how I felt about what I saw than an ‘exact’ duplicate of what nature presented. On the other hand, this is what nature presented and I was thrilled about it.

‘That White House’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I’ve painted this location in different seasons, winter, fall but never spring. It’s just such an attractive little homestead to me that I always enjoy giving it my attention. It sits along a busy road so this is really the only vantage point that can be safely painted. I haven’t captured it’s personality as I’d like to yet so I will most likely be going back again.

‘Cool April Skies’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
To paint this painting I simply turned in the opposite direction from the previous one. By now I was chilled. But I decided to stay and get # 3 done so that I could head home to warm up before tackling #4. The farm and tree line in this one were silhouetted against the fast moving sky and I found that sort of eerie but interesting to paint.

‘Water Dropping’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This one is from along the St. Croix in the Interstate park again. Pretty simple composition, across the river. The challenge again, as in the 4th one from yesterday, was how to deal with a forest full of tree branches without a lot of definition.


Frank Gardner said...

Great stuff Marc! Must be hard to get the 4 each day in less than perfect weather conditions. You get double points for that.
Glad the kids thought you were OK.

I was curious about your comment on the last post about people not liking to visit blogs. Can you explain the context of that a little? If you have time.

Leslie Saeta said...

Four more wonderful paintings. Glad you got a little sun ... you deserve it with this ambitious project. So, did you ever think that maybe you could paint four paintings a day in ... say ... maybe June? You know, when there is no threat of snow, freezing cold and freezing winds? Of course maybe you will like it so much you will keep going. Just think, by June you could have 240 amazing little paintings!
Also, glad to find out that these paintings are for sale. What a great price. I bet they go fast!

Kim VanDerHoek said...

As a painter, the challenge of the last painting posted here with all the tree branches is a problem I've often wondered how to deal with. I'll be looking at your successful version before I attempt one myself. The first painting is a great lesson in pushing the colors and making a personal statement! The other two are strong compositionally and I like how you added interest to the sky with the clouds. WOW, you are off to a roaring start!

Unknown said...

Wow, its amazing how much the weather changes the look of similar locations - you can really tell when you see a series of 4. By the way, how much time do you give yourself to complete all four?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Frank. Some people just prefer the website viewing to the commentary aspect of blogs. I'll email you...

:-) Leslie... Did I say I was going to do them all in April... I don't thinks so!?
Yeah I did... what the h**l is wrong with me. I do live here year after year and should know that I could develop a lack of outer extremities because of what April is like.

Truthfully, as hard as it really is and is going to be to find a full day, every single day for 30 days, that means NO life, this is about the only month of my year that I could do this in. I have the three day workshop in mid April to figure out, but other than that it's a free and clear month for me.

If I kept going, it wouldn't be with panels this small. These are harder to paint than an 8x10 or even an 11x14.

I thank you for your abundant enthusiasm Leslie!
Hey... 45F tomorrow by 4pm and light winds...A beautiful day in store.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Kim. Today was tough, I'll admit. I'm getting acclimated to being out all day, day after day in these chillier temps. I'm glad that you're finding these good to look at.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Jeremy. Isn't it interesting? If nothing else, I'm really looking forward to what I have, when this is all over, in terms of a diary.
It's like keeping a day long journal in images.

I'm spending too much time right now. The first one today went for about 45 minutes. The middle two took longer because of the wind and my watering eyes. I am shooting for 45 minutes per painting. But I'm also not setting any limits of any kind other than to paint the four.


Marc, you inspire me. To tackle four paintings in a day in April is an achievement. They are absolutely beautiful. I need to be more imaginative when I look at the gray landscape now. The Ohio Plein Air Society starts its outings in another week. Thanks for the inspiration.

Erik van Elven said...

I'm amazed by what you achieve in that limited time under those conditions.
Too bad 'Ice shelf' is already sold, I love the contrast between the rocks, the snow and the delicate trees but I keep an eye out for new paintings.
Do you have a set color palette for your landscape work?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info. By the way, are you using canvas boards that you prepare yourself, or that you purchase. Just wondering what material you use for backing.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Judy. You have made my day.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Here's the palette-
I'm using WN Griffon Alkyd white for a couple of reasons. One is that it means that these will be dry faster in case they need to get shipped soon. Secondly, and most important to my painting, I like how this white sets up as you work. It gets sticky and starts grabbing paint fast, unlike a normal titanium (I use Utrecht) which remains sort of 'greasy' for quite awhile. I'm painting on smooth boards that work out better if the paint is more tacky, faster.
Cad Lemon Yellow -WN
Cad Yellow Deep-Rembrandt
Yellow Ochre lt - Schmicke 'norma' or M.Graham Yellow ochre
Perm Red Medium -Rembrandt
Either Venetian red -Sennelier, or Terra Rosa-WN
Perm Alizarin - Gamblin, or Alizarin-WN
Transparent Oxide red-Rembrandt
Ultramarine Deep-Rembrandt
Viridian -WN
Ivory black (used very, very little but once in awhile it's a good modifier)

Marc R. Hanson said...

Jeremy, Thanks. I'm using 8-ply 100% rag board that I cut into 5x7 inch boards. I'm priming them with both acrylic primer, shellac or mounting linen to them. My favorite surface so far at this scale (and that makes a difference as too much linen texture is bothersome), is
a thinned coat of the acrylic primer with pumice added. When that's dry I spray on a coat of clear shellac. This surface grabs the paint but the paint stays on the surface and doesn't sink in and go flat.

Unknown said...

Very insightful information. Thanks!

Cedric said...

wonderful paintings..great stuff...sometimes a person's day is change at a sight of wonderful art