Macpherson Was Right!

“Try Another Path!”
oil on canvas, 36″ x 24″
sold
Kevin Macpherson was right. The power of doing little studies outdoors, then using them as reference in the studio is the only way to go.

This is the largest piece to date . . .and I itch to get really big . . . .at 36″ x 24″ I had to reach to get at it (okay, I’m a short guy!) . . .

Those studies I did over the weekend in the wind, and the photos I took set this piece in motion. I used the photos for a few minutes to get a general idea . . .then in the drawings, stretched the height of the big cliff to exaggerate the feeling of altitude.

Then I buried the photos. Yup! Totally hid them so I couldn’t be tempted to get near them. This painting had to come from the heart. I propped up the studies (the three posted paintings from the last few days) . . .looked at what I liked and didn’t like and set some small goals for this studio piece. I let the plein air pieces be my guide then improvised from there.

We can always improve on everything we do, but I think this painting says what I wanted it to say. It is loose in areas, tight in others, the colors are harmonic and there is a sense of space and atmosphere that works. Could it be better? Of course! But considering the few pieces I have done so far to date, I am happy with it.
Now, of only Macpherson would say the same thing!! :-))
(P.S. I wonder what I’ll say a year from now!)

Some Days Are More Difficult

“Before the Wind”
oil on stretched canvas, 16″ x 20″
Sunday was the same as Saturday. Wind, Wind and more wind!

I have terrible difficulty seeing the colors on the palette in bright sunlight. So, with the wind, I couldn’t put up an umbrella in the wind. It was a struggle. Then, I got caught in the details . . .and I know better!!! So, an hour in the studio this morning, tweaking values and reducing the details helped immensely. Not that a night’s sleep and rest from the wind had anything to do with it!!

This piece might be a little too illustrative, but what the heck! It’s a workshop piece. One thing I did notice is that I hit the right values and colors early in painting then, stupid me, I painted right through it! Serves me right for not stopping soon enough.

I could stand on those cliffs and paint for weeks on end! In fact, I could make a career out of the 50 mile stretch of our coast line! What a place we live in!!!

Testing My Grit

“Cliffside”
oil on stretched canvas, 16″ x 20″
You saw the last post. Who wouldn’t be excited about painting thaaaaat?! I sure was. That photo was taken last week at about 2 in the afternoon. Placid water. Warm day. Gorgeous sky. From that visit, I was exited. I flew out of bed at 5:45 AM with no alarm. I had loaded car the night before and I was psyched.
I left later in the morning with shorts on and a light summer shirt. When I arrived a brisk breeze was coming in off the sea . . . .a cold sea! We painted long after the morning demo. We started at around noon. Prior to that, several easels had blown over and the wind was now at 15 to 2o mph and carrying large quantities of dirt and sand. I found a 40 pound rock to hold in my easel weight pouch so it wouldn’t go over, but still had to bungee it down to a root at one point.
The wind disallowed puting up any sort of sun shade (Umbrella) as it would have become a very efficient sail! Short version: we painted till 4 PM and willingly threw in the towel. It tested every bit of patience I had . . .and my grit. The canvas bucked and wobbled the whole time.
As for the final test? To be sure I could stand it, nature sent me home with 1/2 pound of grit in my back pack . . .every pocket . . .every cranny . . .every wrinkle, on me and my belongings had grit in it. And . . . you know what? . . . . . .
I had a BLAST !!!! 🙂