Friday, May 26, 2017

Blakeman's at Sunset II

Sunset at Blakeman's II
At the Duxbury Beach Reservation in Duxbury, Massachusetts, there is a seasonal fish shack called Blakeman's.   The place is just about as casual a restaurant as you'll find, a perfect dinner option for tired and hungry (even barefoot) beachgoers.     With the right timing, you may get to enjoy a gorgeous sunset over Duxbury Bay like the one that inspired this painting, as you consume your fish and chips.

The south facing side of the pavillion building is covered with colorful lobster buoys and in this scene, they are bathed in shadowy blue.   Non-shadows had an orangey glow that spilled onto the roof peaks, sandy gravel and seagrasses.   This blue/orange harmony is one of my favorites, especially for sunsets.  I pumped up the color by using the more extreme tinting power of Prussian Blue, contrasted with a cadmium red and yellow blend.

This painting was created for the Duxbury Art Association 2017 Exhibition commemorating its 100th year.  If selected, it would be part of a larger panel exhibit and/or auctioned to raise money for the DAA community programs.    Alternately, it could be auctioned off or put
on display by DAA, so I will keep you posted!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Commonwealth Ave Window Boxes

Comm Ave Window Boxes - Stage One

In Boston's Bay Bay, Commonwealth Ave is undoubtedly among the most picturesque urban stretches in Boston.   The greenway down the middle is always busy with walkers, and now with Spring upon us it offers a pleasant and shady path that connects the Public Garden and Kenmore Square.

Most of these residential buildings have exquisite mini front gardens, each one more lovely than the next.   This "brownstone's" color was more plum than brown which is probably why the fuschia window boxes looked so striking.

Comm Ave Window Boxes - Stage Two
My canvas was a small 8x8", underpainted in a neutral tone. The architectural drawing of the buildings took most of my time.  I wanted my verticals perfectly vertical.  The facets of the bay windows each relate a different value of the plum.  The photos do lie in that they don't quite capture how warm and yellow the light was.

Among the people who stop to watch or ask questions, my unscientific estimate is that 75 percent have painted and/or want to paint.    And why is it that people who want to paint more, don't?   Well, I've been that person and there are lot of reasons.  It's waaaaay too complicated for a single blog post!

Comm Ave Window Boxes - Stage Two
Here is the painting result so far.   The most fun is yet to come - the sunlit tree branches and the flower highlights.   And definitely more yellow!
Finished painting is now on the website.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Tulips Peaking

Tulips Peaking - Phase One
It was the first week of May and finally it is starting to warm up - and green up.    Tulips beds line the many walkways in Boston Public Garden and even from a distance, the bright colors are a delight after a cold grey winter.  

This creation is comprised of two 8x8 squares that were positioned side by side.   I used "sight sizing", a technique in which the scene and the painting are developed in duplicate (when standing a particular distance from the canvas) such that the eye can move from subject to canvas and the scene looks identical (in theory:)).
Maureen Painting at BPG

It was pleasant and sunny at the start but as the clouds moved in, the light changed, which is as always, a primary challenge of plein air painting.  I wanted to be sure that the peaking tulips were included, but as I often do, I didn't get close enough for them to make a big statement in the painting.     Instead, the old granite steps, walkers and ducks became the more important elements.   The swan boats had just started running so that was a nice backdrop, although they didn't make it into the painting.

Tulips Peaking
Lots of people stopped to watch the progress.   A young Emerson College senior named Marshall stopped by and we had a somewhat philosophical discussion about paint application and impressionism.  He was strolling through the BPG after having just taken the last test of his college days!   I congratulated him heartily and wished him success.   Old enough to be his grandmother, I could fully appreciate this huge accomplishment in the grand scheme of life.  That he was taking time to savor the day in a place where nature and city collide was so nice.. joining lots of others who were taking time to "just be."

Well beyond the two hour mark, I checked the time and realized that my parking meter had expired!   I packed up and headed for my vehicle.   I could see orange tickets on several windshields, including all the adjacent cars!?    No ticket for me! Great day all around!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ocean Bluff Facing South

Ocean Bluff Facing South - Sight Sized
Today's paint out took place at Constellation Road in the Ocean Bluff section of Marshfield, MA.   Along this easterly facing shore, there is a brand new seawall with nice concrete steps that lead down to the sand.    It was still April so it was a bit chilly, but by standing at the top of the stairs I was shielded from the wind by concrete barriers to the north and to the east.    The surf was a bit high and provided a rhythmic roar.    I often think I wish I could bottle up the feel and smell of the air propelled up from crashing waves.   The best I can do is to share this Surf Sights and Sounds Video and do a good job painting the waves and seafoam.