Sunday, September 29, 2013

Big sky, big river, Hudson River @ Ft. Miller

71  F  sunny & beautiful!

I went over to the Hudson River today and scouted out places along River Rd, in Greenwich and Ft. Edward, NY.  I'm on the east side of the river in Washington County. There is a canal and locks between the river and Rt. 4, and a whole bunch of bridges crossing the canal that goes to a strip of land with the hamlet of Ft. Miller, it's really cool but I had a hard time settling in on a spot.

I found this spot and saw the far hill in the background, looking South.  This road has houses in some places and others it's right on the river, mostly with  thick vegetation,  I would have painted closer to the river on that grass, but it's somebody's front lawn, so I parked on the road and got in the bed of my truck to gain some height, I didn't want to paint the grass. .

Here are the first two areas, the darks and the sky, for which I used the pallet knife.

I'm using a 9x12 canvas panel, and it feels too small to me, this is a large scene and I should have used a larger panel, but I'm running out of the larger panels....

This is into it maybe 45 minutes or so I've got the entire panel covered, (mostly)  and I can try to add detail, but with all that sky my areas of foliage are really small.

Here it is at the end of the session, about 6:15 or so, The light hadn't caused too much trouble today, I guess it was the nature of how it moved to the river...

Yeah, I think it's a bit overkill to have a 3/4 ton truck to do this!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Overtaken by a shadow @S.A.W. today, (painting sold!)

70 F sunny & beautiful.

It's just after 6:00 When I stopped work on this is it "day 1" or not? ask the shadow that took over.

This is Salem Art Works, (saw hill) in Salem, NY, and about the third time from this particular spot.

I went up there it was their Iron pour, lots of college kids and hot metal.  It's also Alumnae weekend @ Bennington College, and I saw a few old friends there, and that's always good.

I was visiting with friends, as the sun was setting, I got to my spot, it must have been about 5:00 and knew I'd have to work ridiculously fast. (I had started a few minutes before I took this pic, and the sun was on the run, moving off of the bright tree in the center.

Speed kills, so they say.  I got the canvas covered in record time using my pallet knife, mixing the basic areas and throwing them on. I don't recommend this!

The camera adjusts to the light level of the area you point it at, so when the shadow takes over you don't see it in relation to the light. Tons of previously dark ares get definition, and oddly enough the areas far back go from being washed out, to having much more color and much nicer shadows.

I was pretty much lost at this point, I didn't want to chase that rabbit, but lights had become dark and darks were now well defined (not so dark).
I panicked and started to paint what I thought I had seen, I hadn't had enough to go on so there was a mess on my hands.

By this time the shadow had prevailed, the sun wouldn't slow down for me and I had to deal, I wung it, but I'll need to come back tomorrow, this time I'll need to be painting by 4:00 (if I can get up there at all)

Here is the same scene in March of this year.

This is the painting I sold at the North Country Art Association's Chestertown Gallery. It's the Beaver (Hess) pond  in Inlet NY.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Etsy site link, it's not a widget

Can you remember the sun? McCart Rd. day 2

Cloudy and warm 70  F

I went back to McCart Rd. today to finish up my painting from yesterday, It was real cloudy and everything had changed.  When I had left yesterday, I had a clear understanding of what needed to be done, shadows on the clouds, details on the road, the mid-ground field needed to be brighter, and the far hills needed to be bluer.  I maybe could have done it from memory, and the pallet still wet with the colors. Going back today, I relied more on memory than what was in front of me because it had changed so much.


This Painting is from last October, I thought it was breaking some ground on it just like I think today's work is, something about hitting the atmosphere just right.  Remind me to put it up on Etsy!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A ship and a silo, one abandoned, one back-lit.

Today  63  F  mostly sunny, with a bit of wind.

This is the silo, it's on McCart Rd. in White Creek,  NY.  I painted this scene last year maybe it was October (before I started this blog).  The atmosphere is amazing this time of year, it's low humidity and bright sun, it's got amazing contrasts.

Here is the scene,  I liked the far hills in the area beyond the road and mid-range hills on the left, and of course the back-lit silo.

Here is the very start.   It takes a bit of effort to figure out where I am and what I'm doing, I line the panel up next to the scene, and measure with a brush handle, and there's lots of squinting.  Once I find the "scene"  I position myself so I'm looking from the exact same spot, generalize the shapes and find the very darkest elements, that's what this represents, its a lot for a few black smudges, but the're important smudges.

I try to get the canvas covered as soon as reasonably possible, because all the colors live in relation to each other I dont' even try to make each one perfect at first (as close as possible).

I started this around 1:15 and had to get going about 2:45, I felt like I left it way too unfinished (when don't I ?)  This is also a site that seems to improve during this time of day, in contrasts, shadows and brightness.  I really liked the dark/light just above the road and in the reflections off the barn roofs.

Awesome spot, handy to have a lot of these now, I can leave the house and be set up in 1/2 hr. (time is money)

Yesterday, 75  F  sunny Perfect!
I had to go to Ft. Edward, NY, (not far from Rodger's Island) yesterday, and I couldn't let this day go by and drive by the canal lock in Ft. Edward, so I stopped and found this totally cool perch just north of the lock, maybe it's some kind of dock?  anyway I didn't have much time, so I broke my first rule, and that was to set up looking north.  There was a tree so I was in the shade at first, then The light hit my canvas and!

Boom! the glare was crazy, I abandoned ship. too bad, I was onto something,  I'll need to get a shade umbrella, because there are too many views I'm missing out on.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Owlkill Creek Day 1 ?

62  F  Sunny!

This  is Owlkill Creek, @ Owlkill Rd.  I've painted here a number of times before,  so it's a favorite spot, The day was perfect so I stole off to get this painted. It's 11 x 14.

This is the scene when I started @  12:30 or so.  The light is still high, and everything seems to be reflecting back, off the leaves and water almost equally, there are still some nice contrasts, and the place seems to compose itself.

This is about 1/2 hr. into it, I have the wash of alizerine crimson as a tone  (why I did that....)  I put in the  darks, made mostly with transparent red iron oxide & ultramarine blue, and scraped it off with my pallet knife.  I teh put in the sky also with the pallet knife, and that is the first time I did that and I liked it, it was quick easy and effective.

This is about an 1hr. into it.  Part of the drama of this site is the way the afternoon light so abruptly changes the entire look and feeling of the place.

This is after another 1/2 hour or so, one thing about working the painting while the scene is changing, there seems to be an optimal time, probably about now when life feels sustainable, soon it won't be.

Here is the scene by 2:30 or so  The reflected light off the creek has gotten real dramatic, But I choked on it, too much of the rest  of the painting had been established and all that would have had to change so I could get the water as it is now.

At minimum I can adjust the general shape of the reflection off the water,  I probably should have just scraped the whole creek off and worked from that....

Here is my location, as you can see I'm right against the road, between the bridge and the RR tracks, I couldn't get near the creek edge it was so overgrown,  Last march I was able to set up maybe 30 ft off the road.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

View from kitchen (and link to my store)

74  F  a bit cloudy ans a bit breezy.

I finally did it!  I painted the view from the kitchen window, this is the first place we all go to to see what the weather is doing, and probably the most viewed in the house.  It's not the idyllic pastoral scene that I go all out to find, but I've been threatening for a long time to just do it. (besides I had kid duty)  &  had to find a picture right here at my house.

This is the actual view from the window, I brought enough paint in with me to realize I should't paint at the house, and that it's way too distracting to paint around here all the time, but for today it worked.

It was a challenge to do the buildings.  This is essentially a back-lot view, my neighbors' sheds and barns,  It's a bit of the fact that the drawing has to be right, or it looks stupid, and that doing hard-edged painted items is almost antithetical to foliage and the impressionistic approach I'm wanting to focus on (don't mind the pun).
 Here is the side of the house looking toward the street, The house was built in the 50's and set back off the road way more than the other houses.   It also had bad siding which I'm replacing one wall at a time, see the nice clear cedar?  I just finished that wall last month, (there are more walls,  I'll spare you the before pics)

So there you have it, not a great view, but not too bad, and if  I'm ever going to paint buildings in my scenes,  I'll have to deal with it.

Here is the link to my Etsy store,  there are only 18 old paintings on there now, but my web-site has most of my painting on it, if you want one let me know and I can move it over (if it's available, and most are)  My prices are roughly $2.00 a square inch (more or less) so buy them while I'm cheap, and alive. Thanks!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Yesterday's finish work

75  F  beautiful day!

Here is where I ended up with yesterday's painting on Content Farm Rd.  It seemed silly to do a 9x12 in 2 sessions but that's where my life is at.

The weather has been beautiful and getting an hour of it to paint is better than nothing!

This is where I was yesterday, right around the block from my house. I'm looking south-west or close to it.

 Here is my pallet, it looks like a mess!  and I guess it is, but some where in the insanity there is some thing working out.....I've been using red iron oxide (I think) instead of cadmium red, mixed with ultramarine, it seems to make a great black that doesn't go too purple like the cadmiun mixture does.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here's my Etsy store, until I can figure out a perma-link.

Stolen:a few minutes, maybe just borrowed.

68  F  sunny!

I had just a bit of time (not really) but I went out anyway,  I got started painting @ about 1:30, the bus gets back @ about 2:45, so yeah, with the miracle of cell phones, and being just around the corner, on Content Farm Rd. I stole some time.

Here is where I ended after about 1 1/2 hrs. it needs more time, but who knows if I'll get back...

Here is my start, I used a wash of alizerine crimson on this set of panels and I think it's the worst color ever.
I was motivated to cover this ugliness, but I can always see through it.

I liked this spot because the hedge row has a lot of variety to it and because you can see a hill in the distance

They say "amateurs borrow, professionals steal" , so the title of this post, the outcome is yet to be determined, if I borrowed the time I'll have to make it up somehow, if I stole it, it's mine for good, and I like that.

 After all that, I still rely on placing the canvas to the side of the scene, and (trying) to "sight-size" it,  When I stand, which is most of the time I have to have the panel very high, today I used the truck tailgate to lean against because I needed to view a bit lower than standing.

This is Content Farm Rd. it's not too busy, but the transfer station (dump) is near, and traffic can move fast, luckily I was fully off the road.    I had a hard time getting the color of the foreground right, and if I brought it back that's one thing I'd like to work on,  so often in (relatively) large areas, I want to find the color, but in fact there are many colors in that one area, so what to do? Panic? I geuss it's about pulling out those colors with maybe a bit of trial and error.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Paintings on Etsy

Here is the link to a painting done almost a year ago, I'm having trouble hooking up wigits to my other sites, so I thought this post would work for now, Thanks for looking,  Matt

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eagleville, Day 2 less water more blue sky.

65  F  fewer clouds, a bit o' sun.

The Battenkill today, about 1 foot lower.  I noticed the sky wasn't much different than yesterday, so I  thought I'd get right back out there. Becides my patllet would still be totally workable, and I just wanted more time.

This pic was from yesterday, you can really see the difference in the water.

Here is where I ended up today,  I think I'll fuss with it some more, but I probably won't take it back.  I worked mostly on the foliage, The light, being just a bit keyed up, gave me something to build on (the highlights of sun on leaves)  I didn't do too much in the water, which changed the most, yesterday the bright haze from the sky lit the water in a nice wide swath down the middle, today it looked mostly darker with lots of bright spots.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Battenkill: a deer floats down it. Day 1

60  F  cloudy

It's been almost two weeks since I went out painting,  I forgot how to paint (not really) .

This is Eagleville, in Salem, NY.  I think my 4th or 5th time, in basically the same place.  I wasn't exactly sure I wanted to re-do it,  but when I pulled over to check it out, the water was high and brown,  and moving swiftly, the clouds were thin, allowing a lot of filtered light, so there were some decent contrasts, and I think I was able to compose the scene better than a few of the previous paintings.

I was aching to get some paint going so I used my largest size panel, 16x20.

This is about 1 1/4 hrs. into it, I have the canvas covered, mostly, I actually used my pallet knife to spread lager areas, wanting to get the basics in.

NOTE: if you look in the river to the right of the panel, you may see a tiny deer head swimming down stream!

He actually seemed rather calm, letting the river do the work,  I hope he got out ok.

Here it is at the end of today's session, I had/have every intention on bringing it back, I don't think a lot of things have been worked out, but it's not a bad start.

Here is My Etsy shop, I just put 10 smallish mostly last year's paintings on it, I'll add more, but if you see one you like let me know and I'll put it up there.