Monday, March 9, 2009

Escape to Scottsdale Farm

After a while alone in the studio, I just get feeling "stale".  The solution, get out the old French Easel and get out there, anywhere.  Normally I seek out a dirt road and stop.  Getting down and into the moment by slowly inhaling a coffee brings out the compositions and the colours.  Then, I practice full colour seeing, make a thumbnail for composition (5 minutes), squeeze out, and get painting.

It Just Seems Right, 11x14, Oil on Canvas

This painting was done on Scottsdale Farm as the winter thaw continued.  The unkept fields revealed the colours of decay previously concealed by the snow.  The fence lines provided an interesting pattern.  The early morning sun provided warmth in all colours of the spectrum and the patches of shadow created by the verticals and the clumps of grasses and weeds provided some cool colour balance. 

This painting was done on a canvas previously covered with palette waste which presented a dull mustard colour which was haphazardly applied.  I had forgotten about this canvas but somehow it found its way into my outdoor gear.  It seemed to ask to be used given the overall feel of the scene.  painting on a coloured ground (dry) or with a wash applied (wet) can be used to set up colour harmony on a painting.  It was also appropriate for this early morning effort because the light changes rapidly so speed is of the essence.

For this painting I used one #12 hogs bristle brush and did considerable dry brush painting in the early stages before mixtures of white were used.  The palette consisted of a version of the light spectrum - manganese violet, ultramarine blue, viridian, cadmium yellow lemon, cadmium orange, alizarine crimson, and titanium white.  This palette is between what I use in the studio and a shortened out door palette.  Here I used no earth pigments, preferring to mix them as required.

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