Saturday, November 18, 2017

Powder Point Bridge from Duxbury Beach

Duxbury Crossover East Facing

It was a beautiful November day, mostly sunny, although a little brisk.   I drove across the Powder Point Bridge in Duxbury to the (now open) restricted parking area next to the Harbormaster station.    I was still deciding if I was going to paint or just take pictures as I walked up the beach path, (a.k.a. crossover) and stopped to observe a fantastic 360 degree view. 

Duxbury Crossover North Facing

The ocean with big rolling breakers was to the east; the barrier beach penninsula was the scene to the south; Duxbury Bay and bridge were viewable to the west; and the continuation of the barrier beach leading to Marshfield was to the north. 

Duxbury Crossover Southeast Facing

I was snapping pictures so I am sharing a few here. 

Power Point Bridge Long View - Final
I walked back to my van and changed into my long winter down coat.  Now really, why wouldn't I paint?   I decided to aim for a color study of the bridge with golden seagrasses in the foreground.   I used only one palette knife for the whole painting.   Super thick paint meant rich color and bright light, in addition to very easy clean up.   As for the color matching, you'll notice that the light source was to the right (southeast) so the sky and water is brightest there.   There is a  gradual and natural darkening of the sky and water one the right with hints of bluish-purple as well.

Set Up
Powderpoint Bridge Long View - Stage One

Powderpoint Bridge Long View - Stage Two

Friday, November 10, 2017

Autumn Bounty with Bottles

Autumn Bounty - Drawing Stage

This is a fairly large painting at 24 by 36 inches.  I mounted the canvas myself.  I have been dissatisfied with many ready-made canvases as they can be poorly gessoed, mounted crookedly and not tight enough.     I had not yet made a single brushstroke, yet
this painting had extra labor invested, and that was nothing compared to what was to come.

Autumn Bounty - Stage Two
My hydrangeas were hardly impressive this summer producing few blue flower heads.  With the arrival of autumn however, the few greenish blossoms started turning color, pretty combinations of blue, green, pink and maroon - foliage?   I cut the flower heads, leaving extra-long stems, and displayed them in a tall turquoise vase on my dining table along with my oil and vinegar bottles.   I started adding more bottles and the last of the tomatoes.   What else,what else...onions, avocados, apple garlic.   So colorful!

Autumn Bounty - Stage Three

Each day the ever lowering of the angle of the sun had created a colorful and shiny display.   By mid-afternoon, the sun illuminated the vase, green bottles and red fruits.  I sensed a new still life coming on and started rearranging the objects in various ways - at least six or seven change-ups before settling on this arrangement.

Autumn Bounty with Bottles

The biggest challenge and one that makes the painting unique are the abstract shadows, the reflections in the glass top table and the sunbeams pouring in from the window on the left.   You may have to click on the picture to see these better

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fenway Park - Behind Bleachers View

Night Game at Fenway
This Fenway Park scene depicts the view from the tunnel between Bleacher Sections 40 and 41.    It's always a thrill to emerge from the darkish concession area to the mesmerizing and colorful buzz of Boston's Fenway Park, especially at night.    The energy of the crowd is contageous and the setting is like no other in Major League Baseball. The classic Fenway Park sign with its vintage red lettering is boldly emblazoned over the homeplate area. 

The painting has some strong angular lines but also rounded and fuzzy areas such as the figures and the crowd.  The warm orange lighting from the concession area under the stadium seating contrasts nicely with the cool day-toned type of stadium lights.   The World Series just ended, but finishing this painting has got me looking forward to spring training already!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pink Roses in a Black Pot

Pink Roses in a Black Pot

My fixation on pink roses continues.   How many colors can be injected into a pink rose?   More than I may have thought.   It turns out that lavenders, blues, reds and golds can accent the coolness of pink, and break up the monotony of pale pink and blue green leaves.   As long as the value scheme is correct, any color could work, technically.   This one started out as an abstract, but eventually evolved into a somewhat realistic capture.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Boston Hatch Shell Reflections

Boston Hatch Shell Reflections - Stage One
I found a parking spot on Beacon Street in late morning as I was heading to the Copley Society to drop off some paintings.   This spot was just a few yards from Arlington Street and the intersection that leads to the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge over Storrow Drive.  I've wanted to paint along the Charles River for some time now, but I had myself convinced it was not really accessible, and would involve too much walking.   This was my chance though, and it did require some hiking. 

Boston Hatch Shell Reflections - Stage Two
I placed my gear on wheels and headed for the famous Hatch Shell, a half-moon shaped outdoor stage located on the Boston side of the Charles River.   The green space here is also known as the "Esplanade."  There were several little footbridges over the parallel waterways and I painted one that was bathed in sunlight.   I painted from the next footbridge over. 

Mounted State Police Unit Passing By
Although leafy trees largely obscured my direct view of the Hatch Shell stage, its golden sunlit reflection was visible in the water.  As is often the case with plein air, the scene was loaded with elements to the point of being chaotic.  As the painting progressed though, the wildness was tamed down by the rhythm of color mixing and palette knife strokes.  With reflections, they are best developed right in synch with their subjects and not as an after-thought.

Boston Hatch Shell Reflections

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Weir Farm Slopeside Pair

Slopeside Pair
The Weir Farm in Hingham, MA was having their annual Farm Day, and in the days leading up to the event, painters were invited to set up on the premises and capture a scene.    The parking lot at the top of the hill has a beautiful view of the Boston skyline to the north and I did contemplate tackling that.  But I thought, why paint a city skyline when a bucolic hillside with Belted Galloways is just a 90 degree glance in the other direction? (Auction at South Street Gallery, Hingham, MA)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hydrangeas and White Aster

Hydrangeas and White Aster
I love having fresh flowers in the house.  They can be wild blooms (a.k.a. weeds), flowers and roses from my garden, or a professional bouquet.    The arrangement in this painting was sent to me by a very special lady who wanted to come to my Studio Sale, but could not make it.    She sent me this beautiful arrangement to wish me luck on this undertaking.  It was the ultimate in not necessary, but I did get maximum enjoyment from them.  Thank you!

I loved the unusual color combination of blue hydrangeas, white asters and lime green mums.  It even had a couple of pieces of driftwood as accents.   I immediately began plotting when I was going to have time to capture the blooms in paint, given the amount of time needed for the sale and post sale activities!