Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Battenkill @ Shushan

42  F  mostly cloudy
I've got 2 days to get ready for New Mexico, as always I've procrastinated, a lot, so this is my last painting before I go

#499  Battenkill @ Shushan

9 x 12

This is not just a covered bridge, it's the Shushan covered bridge museum, and it's also a bridge to nowhere, the bridge behind it is a real bridge, you can see the pylons.

I decided to include the reflection of the covered bridge in the foreground, but nothing else, except for the cement pylons of the highway bridge, and it's reflection.

The blue tape is very distracting, I had toned this piece of prepared canvas and I don't like the texture of it, but I was running out of panels.....

I'm not sure how I feel about this,  I really dislike the trees on the right, and to an extent their reflection in the water, I like the reflection overall of the water.

I stopped here because I wasn't improving it, with the smoother surface, the paint seems to just sit there and get messy.

Here is the scene.

I wanted to jump over to this island but chickened out, it was only 2 feet, but there was snow and ice and it was on an embankment.........

My set up.

My pallet.

Most of the snow is gone, of course it's just a few minutes until April. This is the hill I scrambled down and up.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mohawk River from Waterfront Park, Cohoes.

40  F  sunny, no wind.
I went to church today, yes a heathen like me.  I've been wanting to explore the river views in the capitol district, Albany, Troy etc.. and I found this scene on the Mohawk River, very close to where it flows into the Hudson.

#498 Mohawk River from Cohoes.


 I liked the water, the colors and patterns of blue and brown.

The bridge acts like a big "no" slashing through the landscape, but the subtle bright colors seep through the steel lattice of the bridge, and the water is very delicate.

I broke the rule that says to work on the "most different" thing, by waiting to do the bridge until after the tones behind the bridge were in, I didn't know how else to do it.

The water is high with the snow melting and was also very muddy.

This is where I ended up.

A little washed out and out of focus, but you get the idea.

The bigger picture.

The pallet.

This is the view from the parking lot. It's a little rough, but how many places have a falls like that?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The big view of the Hoosic river, from River Rd. where is spring?

33 F  mostly cloudy
I've been by this place a few times and hadn't painted it, today was the day.

Today's Money  Shot

#497  Hoosic River from River Rd.

14 x 16

Once the leaves start to come back, scenes like this will be all but impossible, so I thought it good to get it now.

I did all the progress photos like this because I wanted to stress the idea that I'm looking at the scene and the painting together, constantly checking back and forth, sorry the panel is in the dark.

The first few tones are the most dramatic, by the time it gets to this place just about everything is in play. Here things are now a mess!

This is where I ended up, close to 2 hours, even with the raw, cloudy day that started with a dusting of snow.

I really never know what I have until way later(maybe never).

My favorite kind of road: dirt.

Here are 40 more panels. With the winter overlapping the spring nothing is drying: preparing for my family trip to New Mexico is taking it's sweet time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hoosic River @ Valley Falls, a blow over and a pay off: preparations.

31  F  sunny, no wind.
I'm preparing to go to New Mexico in April, less than 2 weeks so I made panels, but have lots more to do.

This was yesterday.

#496 Hoosic River @ Valley Falls.


12 x 16

This was Sunday  I went out early because the light looked good. but it was cold and windy, so windy I had to abandon ship.

#495  Meetinghouse Rd.


9 x 12 on prepared paper.

I didn't get to finish but thought there were some redeeming qualities.

I had to go to Schaghticoke yesterday and thought it would be a good place to explore a little more. It paid off.

I squint a lot when I compare the scene with my work, constantly checking one with the other, notice the light falling on the bridge and the shape of the shadow under the bridge, these will chnge quickly.

The light was shinning on my panel, maybe if I tilted it down a bit, I could control this.   One of the things I liked about the scene, was a patch of deep green in the water at the bottom of the picture, that and the bridge.

It's always so hard to see what you have at this point, I didn't like the flat planes in the pylons and my light was no longer there.

I used the scrub trees in the foreground to add depth and break up some of the shapes I didn't like.

Here is where I ended up.

My set up.

There is an old mill and an active electric generator, but nobody was around.

My pallet.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Battenkill @ Skellie Rd. The sun got me out.

42  F  sun to clouds,  calm to light breeze.
Along the river today, there was some sun when I started.

#494 Battenkill @ Skellie Rd.

12 x 16

I took some progress photos showing the scene next to it. Although I didn't get the size right in this photo, it is how the painting moves along, with the sky in, I can better see the other tones, and put in the next "most different" thing.

 Some snow.

By this time the clouds came as they did in the reflections off the water.

There is a constant pushing and pulling, mostly of values, but along the warm/cool axis as well. One tone will look different when the next is put down, but by the time I've got this much, I'm negotiating between the painting and the changes that have taken place in the scene.

The step from the photo above.

Here is where I finished, the trees and other "stuff" make a lot of difference, in that it provides contrasting elements to what I started with, and I like things to contrast, not only in value, but in the shape and paint quality.

Here is the scene at the start. I liked the blue in the water, and the smooth surface was lovely.

Sight size at the end of the session.

Some people start "clean" I like using the "dirt" on the pallet, it seems to tone down with just the right amount of muddy pigment.

In the summer, this place is like a jungle, all grown up with high grass, it's maybe 30 yards from the road.

I could probably take this on a bike.