Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finally Some Snow

You know I find snow painting both invigorating and educational.  Snow just takes on the rainbow in all its forms at any time.  And it simplifies for you.  The first step in awakening a  design sense.

But how do you choose what to paint?  Where to stop?  Tough when you are excited or if you are looking for the perfect scene to copy.

New Years day I took my painting remedy and found this just down the road.

Credit in the Glen, Overcast

I have painted here before any number of times.  And my kids swung off the old Walnut for many years.  That makes this difficult for me.  I have to get the memories out of mind and look not for the things so familiar, but instead to look for interesting abstract shapes.  Then I can ask "what could I do with these shapes?"  How could I make a statement in paint?  Local tone?  Light and shade? etc.  Lets look at a few thumbnails - small number of shapes - simplify - what to leave out?, values - a dilemma with snow? what orientation on the canvas?  Do I have a canvas on hand to do that?  I stopped here so I must feel good about the area.  Are there lots of compositions here?

When I first started to paint on site, my mentor would get out of the car and go casually about setting up.  I often wondered what he saw.  I heard the "Harold truths" on the subject.  I didn't really understand them.  I'd ask him where we should stop.  "Doesn't matter" was  the answer.  Slowly I have developed tools and approaches to deal with these decisions.  It takes time.  Keep at it.  Think shape, design, simplicity, what might be.

I have been watching the ice shapes growing on the river.  We may get a fresh snow tonight.  Should be interesting in the morning.

Earlier, Less Ice, Full Sun

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