This week I painted outside at Arcola Mills, a beautiful location on the St Croix River inbetween Marine on St Croix and Stillwater, MN that is open to the public for the month of October. Needless to say the painters are showing up to take advantage of this. I painted Monday by myself but then painted with Tony Hilscher on Tuesday and with Kami Polzin on Wednesday.
The color along the river up here is surprisingly still green. The make up of the tree population, mostly soft maples that survive the seasonal floods, has something to do with it. I'm interested in seeing if they ever do peak out or simply succumb to the season and just drop their leaves.
Yesterday I took out a new pastel rig that I plan to use for field painting to try out. It's just a shelf that I made of 1/4" ply wood that leverages on my tripod legs to hold the pastel box (a Dakota travels size box) and a board that attaches to my quick release plate for the tripod. It worked beautifully so I plan to have the dust sticks out more often now. I'll take some shots of the easel and get it on here soon.
I hope you are all enjoying the Fall... it's been an amazing one here. I'll be heading off to Fredericksburg, TX next week to help celebrate the opening of R.S.Hanna Gallery (and the wine festival of course), and then onto Scottsdale, AZ where I'll be teaching a pastel 'Field to Studio' workshop October 31- November 4 for the Scottsdale Artists' School. By the way, I think that there are probably still openings for that one if you're interested.
'ARCOLA FADING GREENS' oil - 12x12 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
This one has already been posted here but it's part of the past week so...
I like the square format and am going to do more of them. I have a couple of these 12x12's sitting in the studio now and a couple of 24x24's as well. This day I was dealing with the fall season that still looked like August or earlier. The greens were quite gray, a challenge.
'ARCOLA GLARE' oil - 9x12 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
Today Tony Hilscher and I just happened to show up at the same time to paint, so we did. As soon as I walked to the river the blast of light from the rising sun said to me... Paint that! It's a challenge that I hope to conquer some day. Was a beautiful day to paint.
'SLIVER OF LIGHT' oil - 11x14 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
I was lucky to meet Kami here today to paint. We were both talking about the lack of color in the trees, they should have been warmer than they were. There was some cloud cover in the sky on this morning so I thought that I'd back off of my view from the day before and try to capture that overall atmosphere. This is a very simple design, it's all about the sliver of light that broke through onto the surface of the water. I grabbed that right away and am glad I did because before long the entire surface of the river was once again a bright reflection.
'BLUSTERY OCTOBER DAY' pastel - 8x10 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
Yesterday I took out the pastels. I'm going to be teaching a pastel workshop as I mentioned in a couple of weeks so I wanted to test out my new easel rig and get the groove going with the dust sticks. Good thing too... for half an hour I felt like a total newbie to pastel. I've been sloshing around oil paints with goofy brushes so much lately that it took some time to get back into the careful and controlled way of working required with the pastels. Things like not having the color you want, but remembering that I can mix colors on the surface, wipe them down, layer back over again and I may end up with something similar to what I'm looking for. My rig worked beautifully too.