Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 1, 2009

'Ice Shelf' © Marc R. Hanson 2009

'Below St. Croix Falls' © Marc R. Hanson 2009

'That Farm' © Marc R. Hanson 2009

'The Only Snow Left' © Marc R. Hanson 2009

These are, as you know, 5"X7", painted on 100% 8-ply Rag Museum board with several different primers on them. As of today, my favorites are those that were primed with two coats of clear shellac. I tone it with some grey pastel dust to kill the white. This is a wonderful surface to paint on. The paint 'sits up' on the surface and doesn't sink in until it's dry. It's a smooth surface, not much tooth. This might be what seems good to me today and tomorrow something completely different might be what I use. 'That Farm' was painted on one that I mounted some very fine oil primed linen on. I suspect that I'll be using a lot of that too.

The first two paintings of the day were painted from underneath the Hwy 8 bridge that crosses the St. Croix river between Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls, WI. It was snowing pretty good at that time so to stay dry and a little more comfortable, I was a troll. That also goes with my Scand-a-'hoovian' background as trolls are important in their mythology and folklore.

The light today was less than ideal, but the light snowfall made it a great day to paint. As you can see the wet surfaces of dead leaves, grasses and trees reflected an enormous amount of color. By the end of the day the snow was all but gone.

I was surprised to see the large piece of ice left in the painting 'Ice Shelf'. The ledge that I painted, only part of, is probably about 40 or 50 ft wide and pretty thick. It reminds me that this entire area was carved out by glaciers in the past. This little shelf reminded me of a miniature version of one. The color at this time was very, very rich and enjoyable to paint.

After the first painting it was snowing harder so I just turned from where I was standing and looked up river to paint 'Below St. Croix Falls'. What attracted me was the atmosphere, the distance almost a haze due to falling snow. That let up but the river being so high had wonderful subtle patterns of a mix of foam and suds from the dam up river. All of that made for a simple but calming color scheme to paint. There were large 'foam-bergs' floating down with the current. I added a few of them.

The third painting of the day, 'That Farm', was an attempt to back off of my view point and get some open sky and open land around me. Of course it was blowing pretty good out in the open country so I decided to pull the gear back in the car and finished this one from the front seat. I knew that I had another 3 hours or so to go and didn't want to become hypothermic while painting and not be able to get my '4' in for the day.

By the end of the day the snow was almost gone. I wanted to keep the snow as a common thread through all of the paintings for today. So in 'The Only Snow Left' I was painting in the Interstate Park near my house, and walked into the woods a ways to find this little smattering of wet snow still laying in the leaves. That was good enough so this became my final piece.

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