Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26, 2014

Wow!  Today was a day to clone!  I walked outside into slightly less than an inch of new snow on the ground, painted one painting before it was mostly gone.  For my second painting, I found a few little shadow patches of it left.  We nearly hit 50ºF today, and I hear tomorrow is going to beat that.

The first subject today caught my eye because of it's subtlety, close values with just slight shifts in color and temperature.  It looked like a large Impressionist painting... maybe Twachtman or Monet.  I did my Marc on it, but the scale of the it is barely honored by the size of canvases I'm painting on.  It's one that would be nice to come back to.  Which reminds me of something that I realized a couple of days ago.  That is that I haven't taken any photographs of the actual scenes I've been painting all month!  I could be regretting that, but I don't.  One of my goals in time, is to remove myself from the use of photo reference as far as possible.  It's been good to spend this month only painting from life.

Obviously, if I do work in the studio, I'll either have to use these studies or photos of the studies, if I don't have photo reference.  As I approach the end of this month, something tells me that it's going to be very hard for me to spend much time in the studio from now on.  While I've been razzed, in a friendly way, about choosing February, a less than 'nice' month weather wise, the benefit is that there isn't going to be much that is going to dissuade me from heading out to paint from now on.  I HATE the wind, but was out there in it.

Painting in winter has been part of me since I started painting landscape from life, going all the way back to the mid 80's in Minnesota, but I wouldn't say that I 'eagerly' leap out into the cold with a big smile on my face when the mercury starts falling south.. not until after this month.  I'm sad that the snow is probably gone for the rest of this month, maybe some on Friday.  Why?  Because it offers so many wonderful design opportunities, color and value contrasts... uh... when the sun is out.  If it's a gray day, it still affords some nice patterning to paint, but...  Frankly, I have realized that I prefer the sun.  So many days have been painted in the grayness of the overcast in winter, with snow.  I have boxes of them.  While everything is worthy of painting if the artist has the eye to turn it into Art, I prefer not to paint it much anymore.  It's offers such a limited range of color that I'm losing my interest.  The uniqueness is over for me... give me SUN!!!  But not clear blue skies... or other boring weather.  The month has shown me that I love, and prefer, adversity in the weather when I'm out there painting.  It's so much more interesting to work with, than beach chair weather.

Thanks for looking in... Enjoy!

2-26-1 "Snow On Haystack"
Oil - 8x10

2-26-2 "Golden"
Oil - 8x10
(I have already fixed the 2x2's... 2 trees x 2 snow patches in foreground.  These things show up on line when you don't see then in real life. )

2-26-3 "Ice Edge"
Oil - 8x10

2-26-4 "Terra Rosa Path"
Oil - 8x10


Dave Casey said...

That's pretty much what Tim Horn said a few weeks ago on the AHA radio show. He doesn't find overcast days to be interesting enough to paint either. But, I have to say that you do it very well.

Bear said...

So, inspired by your blog, I tried to paint my very first plien aire today at the Boulder Rec Center. Wow! How do you make it look so simple. I spent an hour turning my 8X10 into a very pretty little puddle of mud.
Your have my respect...dear sir.