Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 14, 2009

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!

5 comments: said...

Hi Marc,

What a treat it is to visit your blog. To be outdoors painting is a wonderful feeling. You have certainly captured your surroundings. Your work is amazing, and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

Jane Freeman said...

Marc I love what you say about becoming familiar with the land. I know you see so much more now than others see because you have studied the land and I suspect your joy in what you see far exceeds anyone elses because you see the beauty in all of it...I think that is the real guts of plein begin to see the entire world around you...not just snippets.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you Joan. I"m happy that the work does that for you. It is extremely satisfying to know.

Jane... You've got that right. Being out there studying things so intensely for so long brings on a pretty good understanding of what there is to work with. Importantly though, is to keep an open mind's eye. It always changes and if we get too used to using one approach, one formula for the elements that we paint, we'll miss the unique qualities that constantly change and challenge our understanding of what is in front of us.

billspaintingmn said...

Good stuff Marc! I should plein air
more often,and will.
I most recently recieved a digital camera, so I'm snapping away at this and that. Thinking I'll paint this some time in the studio.
So when I read what you said about
on site painting, I know your right.
I hate excuses. I will paint on location more!
Thanks for your guidance!

GFM Painting said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.
oil painting on canvas