Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Battenkill River at Middle Falls

36  F  very overcast
Here is today's money shot, I wasn't sure if I'd get to go today, but the sun was out in the AM, so I decided then, I'd go.

I've been meaning to go here for a while, there is a falls and a power plant, and it's right on Rt. 29 to the west of Greenwich, NY. I had to hike in because the road isn't plowed.

I was actually looking to get to the trestle RR bridge, but this was easier to get to.

I had just a few old 7 x 10 panels and my new set needs one more coat of rabbit skin glue, and I wanted this to be quick, but I don't think it would have mattered, the tone was pretty dark.

The tone was almost the right value but way too warm (red) despite the large view I focused on a cross section of the river, I don't really like small paintings, but when I do one I want it to be appropriately detailed with enough "meat" to it. Whatever that means.

This came together in record time! I don't know why.

My scene today, no shadows but the pattern of the two courses of the river was interesting.

This spot is up on a knoll, the falls are to the right, or the south, and I'm looking east, the snow is hard packed and would be treacherous, but for some fresh stuff on top of the ice providing traction, I left a few feet to the edge, I may be nuts, but I'm not stupid!

Here are my pallets, I keep using them and work on them like this, I have different sizes to match my panels and fit into my panel carriers so I can carry them together, I'll need to make some more real soon!

Here are my panel carriers, they're about a year old now, and I use them all the time.


  1. Hi Matthew, great plein air painting. If you look quickly, its hard to say which is the painting and which is the real picture of the scene. You captured the flow of the water.

  2. Thank you Iwan, I love water, sometimes I wish I lived closer to the ocean; the shapes, colors and textures of nature can't be beat, they say things, I'm only taking notes.

  3. Totally cool Matt, no pun intended. Great painting and super interesting blog. Macho man for carrying what looks to be great sturdy carriers but heavy too...? PS...not sure I will hike through the snow when I return. ;0)

  4. Thanks Cindy for visiting my blog! and your comment, at the rate were going we'll have snow in July! The panel carriers are not heavy, my backpack/stool is especially awkward when I'm wearing a coat and 5 layers (the straps are too small) I carry 7 large tubes of paint, that is my heaviest item, and my easel, but it's so rugged it doubles as a walking stick! ( I'm stubborn when it comes my illogical trappings!)

  5. The water and especially the grass in the middle look so real!
    Thanks for showing your panel carriers!

  6. Hi Chani, This came together so quickly it surprised me, because there was not much detail, I focused on the general tone (mostly in value) which was the darkness of the water and the whiteness of the snow, and where I needed these values to get lighter in the case of the waer or darker, in the case of the snow. I was also able to "draw" the edges between the water and snow well because I was able to place the panel at a perfect distance from where I was looking at it. Thanks! Matt