Saturday, January 23, 2021

Finding the light in Stillwater


#1741  Lake St. Stillwater, NY,  12-19-20  16x18

       I was feeling a little bla lately with everything, tired after the roller-coaster ride of this year, I'm sure you know. It's a mini block, the nagging questions, like what the hell do you think you can paint? It happens irrespective of politics and seasons, but yeah, here we are, and this what I'm thinking about.  

            This painting is of a street scene I've driven by many times, it's in Stillwater, between Cambridge and Ballston Spa. So yes, I'm wandering around looking for a scene to paint and the light was like this:

        It was late afternoon and in the late autumn the light moves quickly. The thrill of this was in the brightness of the sunlight raking over the road and crashing against the building. Here is high drama, and if the world is a stage there is a spotlight on this place for this moment. It is a mundane, old street corner with a pizza parlor and a couple of apartments in a beat up corner of the world, but it's lit up as only the Almighty could. It contains a uniqueness, a rarity that belies preconceived notions about a place.  Finding the extraordinary in the mundane is what I live for. It might only be that way for a minute, and I will crop and edit the scene to pull out what I'm getting at, but it has to be there for me to find and record. 

        I try to be open to the world when I'm looking for something. I hope it will tell me something I don't already know.  The street scene I found, a fleeting moment of light is gone a few minutes later.  I need a safe place to stop, and to be able to work quickly, so that plays a role in choosing the scene.

#1732  Stillwater, NY.  11-29-20  13x14

Yes, these are two different paintings, one done on-site one in the studio from the other, with a casual reference to the photos taken that day.  Painting from life is crucial, your eye sees differently than a camera, but working on site has it's compromises, and I hope to work some of those out in the studio. 

Thanks for reading my blog!  

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