Saturday, April 22, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
Despite the weather forecast, the sun came out for a while so I went out and painted again. This is the old barn at the end of the dirt road. In fact, this view shows the end of the dirt road. Every time I walk this way, I am attracted to the beautiful curved form of the road juxtaposed to the roof shape. All the shapes seem to fit nicely together. This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Another plein air painting, an 11x14 oil on multimedia board, showing the old farm house at the end of the dirt road in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sunny day. The white washed side is now the shadow side.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Yesterday was another gorgeous day at the end of the dirt road. I was attracted to how flat the whitewashed side of the old farm house appeared in the sunlight. I got far enough away from the building to have the mountain in the background frame the roof. An aspect of painting landscapes at this time of the year is dealing with grassy surfaces that are in the process of changing over from brown to green. Because of where I was set up, there was a lot of grassy area to deal with.
The peculiar thing about this 19th century building is that it has a relatively new roof. I learned yesterday (from the man who put on the roof, of all people, who I encountered at the old farm) that it was to preserve the building until the owners could decide what to do with it. This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
A view of part of the barn that is just beyond the old white farm house at the end of the dirt road. Of course there are mountains all around, since this place is located in a narrow valley. I was struck by the comparison of the shadowed barn side with its point and the evergreen in the background. The barn is just like the house: all four sides are different. This is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.
Monday, April 17, 2017
This morning's 12x16 oil on panel painting of the old farmhouse was done from a different perspective. I walked around it and found a different view. The seldom seen back part of the house shows greater disrepair.
In any case, to get a different perspective on what it means to paint, consider this: I've been reading about one of my favorite 19th century painters, Eugene Boudin. In 1874, he was invited to show in the first Impressionist exhibition, though the participating artists were not yet called 'impressionists'. What got my attention is the following sentence: "Besides the painters who would become famous--Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Sisley, Pissarro and Berthe Morisot--the first group included the names of Lepine, Guillaumin, Bracquemond, Cals and de Nittis, not to mention another seventeen artists who are almost unknown today" (E. Boudin by Jean Selz). Imagine for a moment that you are one of the seventeen. You might think you now have it made. I'm going to be famous. Of course, none of them probably actually did think that since they all really wanted to be in the academic exhibitions, and in 1874, no one knew what would happen. But they probably didn't think they would disappear. In the end, one has to work/paint for a different reason, especially since one cannot control what will happen.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
This morning I painted an old, empty farmhouse on site. The painting, an 11x14 oil on multimedia board, is nothing great, but at least the location is at the end of a long uphill, dirt road. The last time I saw this building it was surrounded by snow, so the dark windows were more impressive. I hope to do more painting at this place as the spring and summer months evolve.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Shadows are things which you can walk through, but they are still quite visible. The shadows on this 11x14 oil on multimedia board can be found on Seabring Street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.
Friday, April 7, 2017
If who's on first, and what's on second, I know this tree is on third, Third Street approaching Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. When I saw it in the shadow, but against the sky, I had to paint it somehow. The painting is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
It may be obvious that I prefer to paint the smudges and mess of the city, not the straight-edged girders and clean shadows. This painting depicts the metal fence along Carroll Street near the bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. It's an 18x24 oil canvas.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
This one does not look too simple, but to paint something this complicated, I actually had to simplify quite a bit. It's an 11x14 oil on multimedia board. The view is looking north on Bond Street at President Street in Brooklyn.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
If you were to take the walkway that goes around the Whole Foods supermarket at Third and Third in Brooklyn, you would see this view of the Gowanus Canal where it forks into two directions. That building in the background does have the funny cubist shape. The Gowanus Canal is beautiful when the light is right. This is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
This time a 12x16 oil on panel of the terminus of Sterling Place at Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, where there's a supermarket and parking lot.
I've just finished a book titled "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. It's not as bloody as it sounds. We are our own worst enemy through finding excuses to avoid creative work. The author calls it "resistance" and, in this case, it's not a good thing. An important quote from the middle of the book: "The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like." Yes, "rewards" are active beings, and "professionals" are not people who get paid to make art.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
The corner of Grand Avenue and Dean Street in Brooklyn, another 11x14 on multimedia board. This is a late afternoon view with bright areas of sunlight and deep shadows between buildings. I like the "outrigger" feel about the composition.