Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hudson Crossings Park, warm and grey with a massive DAMN!

44  F  very cloudy.
The fence wasn't there the last time I did this scene and I was really disappointed to see it.

#443 Hudson River @ Hudson Crossings Park

12 x 16

I painted this scene in August of 13'. It's at the end of an island that separates the canal with the falls, and about 3/4 mile hike in.

I started with the "most different" thing.

When I say I use the sight-size method, it simply means that I set up the panel next to the scene and determine where my "view-point" is, and do all my looking from that spot. Here you can see the first light, I will get it here then compare the painting and start to place the other elements in the same manner.

Considering how "grey" everything looked there was a lot of variation in the tones of the greys.

Moving along.....

I had gone to Schylerville to drop off some paintings at the Laffer Gallery, I got into a group show opening next Saturday.

This is where I ended up.

Sight-size shot.

Here is the spot, still not knowing why a 5 foot high fence was necessary.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Eagleville, compelled, but not compelling another year bites the dust.

30  F  mostly cloudy, a bit of snow & breeze.
Today is my birthday, I'm 53. So I got to prioritize painting and let everything else fit to it.

#442 The Battenkill @ Eagleville Bridge.

11 x 14

I had a turkey hangover this A.M.  I knew I wanted to go to Eagleville, although I didn't know why, I'm thinking this is just too sentimental.....




Here is where I ended up. I didn't notice that I had way over-exaggerated the perspective, (or did I really see it like that?)

At one point the sun came out, put it was just a few seconds and I painted it like the top scene, all grey.

On one hand the scene has some very ethereal qualities of the snow in the woods, but the blackness of the water and the side of the bridge are very graphic, and I find that hard to control, it just wants to take over, not to mention the color red.

 I wasn't sure it was actually snowing or blowing off the trees, but indeed show got mixed into the paint and directly on the panel. Of all the things that happened in the painting this made no difference at all.

I think a lot of times I choose scenes because I want to be in that place.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

More turkey than paint, outback today.

30  F  Snow!
We got a lot of snow yesterday and some more today, Thanksgiving, so between our yearly house cleaning and the arrival of our good friends, I went out back.

#441  Outback

8 x 6

I was in a similar situation as the other day, squeezing painting in between everything else, so I stayed close to home and worked small.

This is pretty much a monochromatic scene.

There was light and dark, and just off of each one.

It ended up here,  not much over 1/2 hour's work, but better than last year's painting of the same scene.

The scene, I'm on the bridge over the Cambridge Creek, it's in back of my house.

View towards my house.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What I wear.(winter gear, that is)

Snow day!
The socks on the right are "sock liners" go on first, you can use thin dress socks in a pinch, the ones on the left are mostly wool. Don't bother with anything less than 50 % wool. These are "boot length" also important when wearing big snow boots.

These are the most versatile, mid-weight thermals, I have lightweight and heavy weight as well.

Flannel-lined pants.

I like this synthetic t-shirt,but cotton next to the skin is nice too, first layer is best not too loose.

Thermal tops, sometimes can be doubled up.

Flannel shirt.

Wool sweater. This is like real estate.

Shell/felt lined snow boots,  probably time for an upgrade.

You can't buy a coat like this, it takes years of hard knocks.

I have two heads, so they both need hats.  The wool/fleece lined ski hat is the warmer choice, but I'll wear the cap with ear flaps if it's not as cold.

Lined leather work gloves.  I'm looking for finger-less under-gloves. I wear these but have to take them off often.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

County Route 59, @ sunset; getting in the zone despite myself.

38  F  cloudy to clear at sunset.
Taken with my 20th century flip phone. Today's "Money Shot"

#440  County Route 59

9 x 12

This sky was nice, and fleeting.....I used more color (curealean sp?) especially at hr highest part, and lead white with a touch of yellow at the bottom. I used the pallet knife to smooth and blend, it seemed an appropriate way to do it.

Sight- size shot.

This was another day when painting got squished in between play dates and errands. Parenting is my first job, but everything has it's limits. I finally got to this spot, in between things, just on the side of another county hi way. I often find the "OK" part, hard to accept. Hard to accept because everything is compromised, time, energy, the luxury of "powering down" with some semblance of  "this is important". But what ever doubts I have the paint must go, so I try not to think, I just do, because once I actually start to look, put down some paint and focus, I completely forget about all the hassles that I was just obsessing about and get on with it. There resides the reward, it may or may not be a good painting, but it will be, on canvas and in my brain, and that's a good place to be.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Painting everyday: Niles Rd., White Creek.

36  F  cloudy
I drove around for quite a while when I spotted this barn group. The sun was out for a few minutes and I'd thought I'd try to find it, but by the time I got there it was gone again.

#439 Niles Rd. White Creek.

9 x 12

There was a bit if lightness in the sky when I started, but not much, and the grayness flattened everything out, just not a spectacular day.

I started with the sky, used titanium with mixed black +extra blue, but the warm tone near the horizon I used a little flake white mixed with a bit (tiny) if cad. yellow light. The background tone would be perfect to allow to show through in the fore ground.

Just a bit too dark.

Moving along....

The roofs make it real.

Here is where I ended up, the foreground was a challenge, but I'm reasonably pleased with it, at least for now.

Here is the scene. I liked how the plowed area is diagonally oriented to the rectangle, even though it's subtle.

 Sight-size shot; this is how I paint. the scene next to and the same size as the painting.

Painting everyday.

I wish I painted everyday, I don't.  I paint almost everyday; it's a goal of mine to paint as much as possible. when I paint a lot, I feel I don't have to think about it. My pallet is laid out with the same colors in the same places, so mixing is second nature, (or close to it) and the process of looking and getting the tones of nature: the color that's in front of me at any given moment, is as well like an automatic reflex. I don't think it's so much about the speed, as it's about responding directly to what's in front of me, getting that first tone down, then going to the next. But mostly it's about looking at nature, seeing what's in front of me and loosing myself in the  process. When I bring back the painting I'll be able to see what I did and think about it, but in the field I need all the time I can get to look. The quest to find a spot, (while sometimes drives me nuts) is a practice that, much like getting up and facing the world everyday represents life's daily calling; we may never get to the destination, but the act of looking, seeking, longing is in itself the money.