Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009
At the start of today I was thinking that I’d have to drag out my tube of ‘grey sky’ color once again! I followed the weather report and it said that the sun would be out in Minnesota except north and east of the Twin Cities. That’s pretty much where I live. I wasn’t putting up with that. So I took the truck south towards Stillwater hoping that I’d get an extra hour of that warm friend. Until noon it was grey there too. But then the sky opened up and despite needing to wear the same amount of clothing as I have since this thing started on Wednesday... Man did that sun feel good! I’m not complaining, but the added little bit of warmth was Welcome!!!

‘High Water’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
While waiting for the sun to come out I went down to the flooded waterfront in Stillwater to warm up. The entire walkway and park is under water. So that’s different than normal and the colors this morning were quite rich and attractive to me. This was a quick one, just under 40 minutes.

‘Dancing Reeds’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I love the rich color in the water along the edges of ponds at this time of year. The water reflects the color of the sky but is tempered by the color of the water and the depth of the water. Shallow water darkens the value because you can see into it, the bottom color modifies the sky reflection. The result is usually a very rich, dark color. Add in the light, warm color of the reeds from the previous season and there’s compliments and value contrast galore to have fun with. As I painted and observed this scene, I had the impression that the reeds were moving about, almost like thin legged dancers on a stage.

‘Duck Playground’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Beautiful cerulean sky with light violet clouds cutting into the horizon of the sky. Ducks, Eagles, Loons all sounding off in the marsh. Sounded like they were having a great time, and so was I.

‘Berg!’ © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I visited a large lake in the afternoon that was still icebound. But what a treat it was! This place was full of whooping swans, sandhill cranes, geese, shorebirds, and a bunch of eagles out fishing in the open pockets of water. The entire time I was painting, I was hearing the ‘wooop- whhoooop’ and the paddle like splashes of their enormous feet as they went through courtship activities. The painting subject caught my eye because it was the only snow of any amount along the shore and really stuck out like a sore thumb. I like that kind of contrast.


Donald Neff said...

Marc, these 'little' paintings are wonderful. I love how you capture the essence. The colors and values are right on...the way you capture a maybe drab winter scene and make it interesting is magic. BTW, I have been following you for quite awhile, but my first comment. Keep up the great work!

Noel Darvie said...

Hi Marc, your a real expert at capturing the moment. Quite an ambitious undertaking. I look forward to your future works.

René PleinAir said...

This project is starting to become a stack of gems!!

You mentioned Cerulean blue, I thought you mainly painted with the palette Kevin Macpherson uses.
I reckon you don't clean your palette totally after painting these days, could you explain a little more about the palette your using now during this project?

Btw. do you accept Paypal as a way of payment?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Donald. I'm giving it my best shot!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Noel..Thanks.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Rene'... Nice of you to say that.
I don't use cerulean, but the sky reminded me of that color. I don't use K.Macpherson's palette either. I think that he uses a thalo? I just use Ultramarine deep and viridian.
Yes I do accept paypal. The paintings are all set up for sale in that way on my website. It would be too confusing to have them selling off of here and there.

Anonymous said...

Marc you are of to a great start. :-)

Soooo you of plenty of room to dry 130 paintings? ;-)


Erik van Elven said...

Hi Marc,
You mentioned your palette yesterday. I noticed that you use a lot of red's and only one blue. What's the idea behind that? (If it takes too much of your time right now you can explain it later)

Joe Kazimierczyk said...

Beautiful work, I especially like Dancing Reeds, you captured the water reflections / transparency so nicely.

I'm really impressed with this 4/day project you're doing. I'm also wondering how you can photograph fresh, wet paintings without any glare? I find it best to wait until they've dried some and the glare is not so bad. Any tricks you can share?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Eugene... Quick dry white my boy... quick dry white, it's the future! ;-)
I came up with secret drying strategy. Want me to tell you? It's going to cost a bundle.
Okay, I'm using Blue Ray disc tower holders. They're wire and will hold 50 blue ray discs, which are about 7.5 inches wide... puuuurrfect.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Erik I sometimes use cobalt blue too. But with the Ultramarine and viridian I don't have any trouble getting a manganese type blue or a cerulean type blue. A little lemon yellow or red and you can adjust these to meet most of what I need.

Unknown said...

The sun... I forget how much I take that for granted in Southern California. Thanks for the reminder of how great it is. But, it looks like you have some great scenics full of wildlife up there to paint - very fortunate.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Joe the paintings today 4-4 were darker and more difficult to shoot. I usually tip them slightly downward to avoid the glare. That is about it. Thanks for the comments.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Jeremy... yes we have bears at bird feeders, cougars in back yards, grey fox on picnic tables, eagles, hawks of all kinds, waterfowl including trumpeter swans that come off of the river and right over my house up on this hill, and racoons that steal suet feeders. Those are the main characters. I don't consider deer and rabbits 'wild animals' anymore, especially since my cat went up to a deer and it licked his face last summer. We call this place 'Happy Valley'.