When painting this week, with a couple of exceptions, I've been working larger on site. This is a learning experience, one that is going to take some time to absorb and adjust to. I'm so used to containing all that I want to say in 154 sq inches or so that doubling or tripling that is a real challenge in simple things, like paint handling. It's a logistics vs time equation you have to become comfortable with. I'll be real honest, I'm also dealing with this... how do I get the same kind of look to the larger work that is a natural result in the smaller work that is painted on site? Or is it even necessary, is the result from working larger such a different animal that I shouldn't even worry about this? These are the questions that I'm facing from my personal point of view.
Even with those questions present, I am already 10 times more comfortable a week into this than I was with the first one, which wasn't even that large. None of these are 'BIG', 20x 24 the largest. But they're larger than what I have been doing so I'm giving myself a break on the struggles and just letting it work out as it does.
I'm comfortable enough now that the next one going with me is going to be a 24x30. I'll work at that size (weather and conditions permitting) for a while and then go up again in scale. They are beginning to look smaller already. I don't any longer feel like I'm staring into the face of the mainsail of 50 ft yacht!
I'm sure that some readers/artists of my blog are probably wondering what all of the whining is about. Many of you might already paint larger on site and don't see it as that big of a deal. I hope to get there soon....
Also, the Beauport easel is my new best friend. I love this thing. I'm sure that the Take-It-Easel would be even better, but I'm going to get my $99.00 out of this one before I worry about the $300.00's that the other one costs. I'm even painting the smaller size panels on it and find it so much more friendly in that use that if it weren't for it's size and the weight of the paintbox I'd take it every where I go to paint.
ALL of these were painted on location...
'September Pastures' oil 16x20 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Well... this was the first one last week. This isn't that big but I'll tell you that it was a good size to introduce myself to outside. I had enough issues with it, and it served it's purpose.
'Full Over Balsam Lake' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Obviously not a big one. I am working on an 18x24 of this same scene. The full moon is gone, but the land hasn't moved. In this case I'll do as much work on the larger one on site as I can, as the conditions permit, and then use this study to finish it up. One of the things that I see in painters working large on location is that the work tends to be of lighting situations that are more stable, towards the middle of the day, using the longer light situation to paint with of course. I like the end of the day light, the last hour or so, and those situations that are fleeting and one of a kind. In those situations I still want and will use the smaller studies as reference, it's the only way to really grab those last minute spectacular events.
'The Island' oil 16x20 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I have to remind myself with the larger paintings to be careful not to just 'record'. I want and need to stay tuned into the emotional side of painting even on the larger scale. I know that the more experience I gain doing this, the more comfortable I'll become with it and the more attention I will pay to that. In the mean time, some of these are going to be simpler, more 'records' of the place than the kind of statement that I really want to be making. Time....
'Loosestrife Autumn' oil 8x16 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Kami and I went out to paint purple loosestrife which is in abundance this year. It's an artist's dream, but it's invasive and not a good thing to see in the environment. Well anyway, we had a ball with the light at the end of the day and the effect that it's warmth had on the greens that are changing towards fall's palette and on the loosestrife itself. YUMM....
'September Beans' oil 20x24 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Man did this morning feel like September! Everything in the landscape is warming, except the temperatures. I wanted the sky in this one. I haven't mentioned time required to paint these. This one took about 4 hours, the 16x20's about 3 hours.