I just completed this painting, potentially for the gallery in Vermont. It’s actually not Vermont–it’s the Finger Lakes. But who’s to know! I loved the shape and color of the barn and the lifting fog, not to mention the golden rod leading the eye into the distance. I made a few changes in the composition but they are relatively minor. I worked on a gold surface without any underpainting, just a pencil drawing. I wanted to capture the sense of the intense morning light flooding in as the fog was lifting and the sparkle of the flowers and grasses. I’m not sure what color the barn really is. It might be brown. But it looked violet to me when I took the picture and certainly in the photos. It works so well with all the warm greens and yellows. I filmed the barn from the east side of Lake Seneca on our drive home. Everything was so beautiful, I kept stopping the car to jump out, irritating my driving companion, who was anxious to get home! But I’m glad that I did. I’ve just gotten up my courage and sent the three images to the gallery owner. Wish me luck!
More on the painting. The biggest challenge was the large expanse of barn. I resolved it in two ways. First, I added a small tree just to the left of the bottom window to help break it up. Then I added some greens and a little of the red from the ground into the surface. This breaks it up and helps tie the colors together. Before I did this, it was too purple! Imagine!!! I worked very hard when applying the primer to the paper to avoid loose bristles. But one got past me that was in the roof to right. I was finally able to remove it. I keep remembering Richard McKinlay saying that loose bristles are like “little logs” in your painting. He’s quite right!
John downloaded Windows 10 to my computer and I’m having a really hard time with my photos. I download them, then can’t find them. If anyone knows the secret to this, let me know!
September Gold, 20 x 24, Rives with Art Spectrum Liquid Primer
I have been painting Vermont this week. It’s beautiful here and I really should be outside. But, instead, I’ve been in the studio, trying to remember what our one late afternoon in northern Vermont felt like! I’m doing this in the hopes that Jud Hartmann will want my paintings for his gallery in Grafton. We’ll see! The first one was the painting from the small town of Barnet, Vermont Whites. I’m not sure how well the various colors I used are showing up in the photo. I used a warm but light lemon yellow in the church steeple and house (left side) and various cooler violets in the barn and front of house. We were there around 4:30 and the light was very bright. I’m worried that the painting may appear too cool, however. The composition is pretty true to the photo, but I moved the church steeple and widened the roof of the barn. I also added a hint of more golden rod in the far distance on the right.
The painting from Danville area was done yesterday. For both paintings, I used a yellow green hard pastel in the underpainting. However, in the Vermont Whites, I used soft blue pastels that pretty much covered it up. In the Danville painting, I brushed a very light violet Girault over the yellow, allowing it to show through and I’m really happy with the glow that it produced. In this painting, I converted a house in the background into a Congregational Church. I Like the progression of buildings and the vertical of the steeple. I’ve included the underpainting, which I took with my cell phone. It might be a bit blurry but I wanted to include it. I decided to use a warm under warm/cool under cool approach for this painting. I was afraid that I’d get confused in the grasses and it made it a lot easier. This is one of my favorite types of composition: a high horizon with interesting building shapes and lots of grasses! I also made up the orange tree in the background and added orange leaves to the small bush in foreground (which was there, but not orange) to help balance the color. I wanted the feeling of late summer/early autumn, just as the colors are beginning to turn.
Last Light, Near Danville, 20 x 16, Pastelbord
Underpainting for Last Light
Vermont Whites, 20 x 24, UART 400
I’m finally back from my three wonderful weeks up north. I was in Massachusetts for the first week, giving a three-day workshop in Tiverton, RI. We painted at Sepowet Marsh in Tiverton and in the lovely town of Adamsville, RI. We went to the marsh on the second day and had a great time until it got too hot! I chose a vertical scene that included grasses, flowers, and patterns of color in the marsh. On the third day, we went to the lovely town of Adamsville, RI and painted at Adamsville landing. For both of these paintings, I basically used a warm under cool approach for the underpainting. I was particularly happy with the one for Adamsville and liked the way the painting came out.
Following my week in Massachusetts, John and I spent a week in Belfast, Maine. While there we went to Rockland to see the Farnsworth and other galleries. I’m always inspired by the art there. This time we also went to the neighboring town of Thomaston, where I discovered the wonderful Haynes Gallery. There were gorgeous paintings by Joseph McGurl and Peter Poskas, two of my favorite New England artists. On a day trip to the Blue Hill penninsula, I went into Jud Hartmann’s gallery in Blue Hill and we got into a conversation. And now I’m going to be in both of his gallieres in Blue Hill and Grafton, VT!!! I’m delighted. The one in Blue Hill is a beautiful gallery and the selection of paintings is quite nice and well displayed. He is a sculptor and that’s all you’ll see on his website, unfortunately. But I’m very happy that he wanted me!
During the third week, we went to Montreal and went to the big museums and the local galleries. I was not impressed with the current stuff at all. Kind of schlocky I thought. But I guess I’m pretty old fashinioned and opinionated!!! We ended our trip in the Finger Lakes and saw MORE beautiful farms, houses, fields of golden rod. Really beautiful. Glad that I can depict some of this for galleries that appreciate this kind of work.
Underpainting for Sepowet Greens
Sepowet Greens, 14 x 11, UART 400
Uunderpainting for Adamsville Landing
Adamsville Landing, 12 x 16, UART 400