Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Aug 28, ‘10

What a beautiful morning, this.

I arrived on the scene a little after 8:30.  After I parked & unloaded my stuff, I walked around a little, took some photos and listened to myself as to what angle of this fence appealed to me.   I found a place to sit down sketch – and think, look and listen and wait for J and D.  As I sat a few cars went by and a third vehicle, a truck, stopped.  The driver turned out to be the owner of the farm, driving by.  We shared that we enjoyed our work; that it kept us young.  He was off to cut hay.  I enjoyed our conversation (except I couldn’t help notice that he’s going a little deaf....) and I’m glad he stopped by to talk for a few minutes.

I’m happy with the painting I did this morning and have decided that now, upon reflection, that although I see more that could be done, I’m not going to do it as it has something I’ve been looking for but haven’t quite got.  So if I leave it as it is, I’ll remember more clearly what it is I’m going for.

A more comprehensive painting in half the time?  Something like that....

One thing I enjoyed about this painting is the way I began it.  I drew it in with thin paint and a small brush, pretty much copying the composition from the thumbnail.  As with the 3 paintings of the barn I did last week, I felt myself enjoying the action and results of drawing with a brush.

I did a complete underpainting with the Burnt Sienna, adding more layers of paint to the far background trees, to remind me where I wanted to paint dark, added a light application of burnt sienna to the foreground and graded it out to the edge of the paper; I added a bit of yellow to the foreground at the edge of the paper to distinguish foreground front from foreground back.  I gave the sky area directly over the tree line a light glazing, of burnt sienna, too.  The paper was very wet by then, so I let it dry a bit before I wet down the sky and then painted it with Ultramarine Blue and burnt sienna from the thin puddle of paint I had left over from the first application.  The application of paint was very thin, at first but as I worked upward, added more and more blue to the point where it felt to me a good representation of the color and tone of the sky as I saw it early that morning.  The next thing to do was the area that represents background trees, which I did with a mix of UB, CY and Burnt Sienna I’d mixed for the 1st layer.  Occasionally I added in a little CR to make different grays.  I mixed the paint thicker and thicker and worked it in until I felt I’d reached a point where the paper couldn’t take any more.  I let it dry as we sat and talked.

The last bit was done with a mix of UB and BS that was thick and dark and applied with a small brush in ‘dry’ brush style.  Which meant I used very little water other than what was in the brush when swiped with a paper towel or in the thick paint I’d just mixed.  With the first application, the paper was just wet enough so that the mixture dispersed.  I used it in the background trees and the fence.  In the background trees, I worked in a thickish mix of Blue/green over the dark I’d just dropped in.  The dark calligraphy mark at the top of the tallest tree in the far background was a mistake but I like the way it looks.

The best part of the painting session this morning is the sense of peace from being there, a sense of shared community from being there with the 2 women who are working with me, making a memory and coming home with a product that has made me so happy, hopeful and grateful.

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