Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23, ‘11

Orchard 1
Orchard 2

I haven’t stopped to sketch or draw at the farm in recent weeks because of terrible weather but I’ve been there – passing by on my way to my mother’s for lunch –  every Saturday.  Most times,  I stop to take photos.

My task as an artist/painter throughout this past Holiday Season has been to photograph snow scenes from the farm and make paintings from the images.  It's a long, drawn-out process, a lot like this long, drawn-out Winter & Holiday Season.  Overall, I’m pleased with my studies.  They're keeping me busy and are a good antidote to Cabin Fever and what's going on Outside.

The weather here in northwest CT is bitter and cold; 5○’s at 9am EST.  A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING for Extreme Cold and Dangerous Wind has been posted for this area on the Internet.  

I feel that these paintings will make me feel a chill 6 months from now, that I'll look at each one and feel the cold, remember these blanket-wrapped, heavily bundled days, hunkered down, resigned to Endurance.  I don’t usually recommend painting from a photo, but in these extreme winter circumstances & since I took the photos that I'm using as sketches, I’ve changed my mind.  In recent weeks, I learned a lot about painting outside from a photo and feel that I’ve enhanced my experience.  As I sit in my chair next to the heater, I’ve enjoyed the thinking and planning and finally, the painting as I watch one episode of Desperate Housewives –  one after the other....

My experience of painting images of the farm is on many levels, the memories are many and my gratitude that I’m here now to do this thing, is immense.

These 2 paintings are 7 ½" x 5 ½", on #140 Arches Hot Press.  I'm working small so I can experiment more.  On each painting, I’ve used liquid frisket, applied with the walnut drawing tool I’ve discussed in earlier blogs.  I’ve also used pen and ink technique with a metal nib loaded with watercolor paint.  On one of the paintings I did the sketch with a water soluble colored pencil, on the other, I outlined the main elements of the composition in pen and watercolor and erased the pencil marks I put down as a guide.  Not exactly 'wild experimentation', but definitely 'out of the box', for me.  I’m working my images on a Landscape format as opposed to my preferred Portrait.  I’ve added 4 or 5 calligraphy tools to my jar of brushes.  My mind is intrigued by myriad possibilities....

My pallet for Orchard 1 was Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre.  My pallet for Orchard 2 was Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre.


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