Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lilacs in a Watering Can

Lilacs in a Watering Can - Stage One
This painting was conceived in reverse.    I came across this beautiful little frame that had a 5x5 inch opening.   I have never used the 5x5 inch size, although I have been enjoying the square format.  It was simple enough to cut and mount a linen square and stretch onto a 5x5 barn board square.    With this style of the frame, I envisioned a painting depicting a delicate floral image of some kind.   Lavender or bluish flowers would be perfect complements to the silvery tone of the frame.    I created a square thumbnail drawing that seemed to have a "not too symmetric" feel.

No fresh lilacs were available, but I found some fine images that were usable.   The light source in my favorite image was from the left so I imagined a nice country window casting light on the blooms, watering can and antique chair.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Light and Shadow Winter Scene

Light and Shadow Winter Scene - Stage One

It was nice to be out in the fresh air, which, by the way was fairly mild for early January. Shadows in winter are long and can offer dramatic contrast in landscapes.   The sun was so low in this scene, despite it being midday, that the trees to the left (south) of me had shadows twice their height.  The bright strip behind the trees is Coast Guard Hill in Marshfield, MA, a popular sledding area.    The only hint of sledding on this school day however, was a couple of broken plastic saucers and hay bails at the base of the some cedars at the bottom.

Makeshift Palette Knife
Before the last cold snap, I cleared out my painting supplies from my painting vehicle.   I didn't want my gear to be exposed to sub-zero temperatures, but alas, I forgot I had done that.  I arrived at this location and discovered I didn't have mineral spirits or a palette knife.   Luckily my Gamblin's gel medium could substitute for the spirits.  In the past, I have used a credit card as a palette knife - not smart though, as the paint tends to clog the numbers.   A business card made a better palette knife substitute.  See photo.

There was a surprising amount of warm orange in the woods on the far side of the sledding hill. The warm color made the gray-blue snow look very pretty.  Nature was showing off and my job was to match the colors.   White snow is anything but white when painting it.  Shadows were blue, lavender and gray; sunlit snow was the palest notes of yellow, pink and green.

Light and Shadow Winter Scene
Additional saplings, branches and vines were carved into the snow, then the darkest darks were restated.   The shadows of the stone wall really set off the snowy blues.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Curious Sheep - Ireland

Sheep at the Stone Wall

While exploring the countryside in Ireland we did a lot of walking.    Green pastures were dotted with sheep and often they were standing alongside the stone walls that separated one field from the next.   Unlike the cows, which would walk toward us and even "say hello," the sheep would just stare quietly.   It was as if our very presence caused them to become frozen in place, and they wouldn't make a sound.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Allihies Dairy Farmer II

Dairy Farmer - County Clare
This painting depicts a dairy farmer in the southwestern Ireland, specifically the Beara Penninsula, which is the furthest western landmass, a part of County Clare.  The distant hills were covered in a patchwork of shades of green and pink.   In this field, a large steel milk drum on wheels sat near an old gate.    As the farmer walked to it, the cows followed him, as if they expected a treat.   More likely, they knew it was milking time.