Tuesday, September 11, 2018


A studio painting done in the last couple days while it was raining: it depicts a surreal view of Matera, a town in southern Italy.  In Matera, people lived in caves until quite recently.  When I was there I saw an exhibition of paintings by Carlo  Levi, who wrote Christ Stopped at Eboli, a book worth reading just to find out what he meant by the title.  He was a sort of an Italian Alice Neel, painting fascinating portraits that capture the sitters' personalities.  12x12 oil on panel.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Simplicity of Land and Sky

A second painting from this past Saturday afternoon when the sun did not shine: the view east towards the Savoy mountains from the Chenail farm on Luce Road in Williamstown, MA.  Not much happening here but I like the simplicity of land and sky. The composition is similar to the day's earlier painting, a tree slightly off-center pushing up.  I balanced the two trees, dark on light on the right, with two trees, light on dark on the left.  It's not that I planned it that way, but I somehow emphasized some things that I was looking at.  The rest, the bands of land and sky, just fell into place.  I also used the Stobart limited palette.  9x12 oil on panel.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Looking North On A Cloudy Day

Waiting for a sunny day may mean that you don't go out and paint.  On a cloudy day yesterday I went to the top of the hill behind the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA to paint this view looking north into Vermont.  I love those glacier-scoured, round-topped mountains, a sure indication that you are in New England.  9x12 oil on panel.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quickly Disappearing

When I arrived at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA the other morning, this is what I found.  Straight ahead are the trails to the mountains, and the light.  I used a tiny panel because I needed to paint quickly to capture what would disappear in a short time.  6x8 oil on panel.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Trying Mightily

An afternoon painting from a couple days ago at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  I found this view intriguing and unorthodox, so worthy of a try.  If it didn't work out I could just ditch the painting.  It wouldn't be the first time.  There's a pull to the right, but I try mightily to keep you within the confines of the painting.  8x10 oil on panel.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

In The Shade Of An Apple Tree

Because of the heat I set up yesterday in the shade of an apple tree in the middle of the recently mowed pasture behind the barn at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  8x10 oil on panel.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Looking Past The Barn

Here's a painting I did one afternoon last week, while standing in the shade beyond the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  I'm looking west towards the Taconics.  8x10 oil on panel.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Goldenrod Hill

The goldenrod is everywhere on Sheep Hill.  This view of the mountains is from much farther away and higher up than the end of Hopper Road.  A 9x12 oil on panel plein air that I did yesterday.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Just Look Around

This is a mid-, late afternoon view across a couple hay fields at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  The middle ground trees seemed to be fading into the background.  9x12 oil on panel.

If you were look at a contour map of the end of Hopper Road, you would see that it ends at the beginning of a marvelous valley surrounded by steep mountain sides.  Sometimes we painters think that if only we were somewhere else we could make great paintings.  But you only have to look around where you already are to find wonderful views to paint.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Shadow Fingers

A couple days ago, after I was done painting, I walked the hay fields at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA, scouting for painting ideas, and I saw this.  So yesterday afternoon I came back and the conditions were almost identical, for a brief time.  A 6x8 oil on panel.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Unlimited View

Through the Gurney Journey blog, I learned of the marine painter John Stobart, who wrote a book called "The Pleasures of Painting Outdoors."  What is fascinating is his limited palette, which he has used throughout his career.  It consists of cadmium yellow, Winsor red, permanent green, French ultramarine, and burnt sienna, with titanium white.   I've substituted cadmium red light and thalo green for the moment because I don't have Winsor red or permanent green.  But I would think that one could swap out a color now and then.  A limited palette is certainly an asset for outdoor painting.

The accompanying painting depicts a hayfield in which the four outer edges were cut and baled first, and the cut hay of the inner section is spread out to dry.  In the background at the far left is the Hopper, as seen from Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  The main background mountain is Greylock.  6x8 oil on panel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In the Foreground

To paint this view of Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road, I installed myself in the corner of the cow pasture.  I maneuvered myself carefully under the strand of barbed wire.  Eventually the cows spotted me, and they meandered over, behaving as if the grass leading up to me was suddenly the tastiest in the pasture.  Fortunately, they wandered off  shortly after getting within a yard of me.   I selected this spot in the pasture because I wanted to include the shadow across the foreground, and also paint in the shade because it was so hot.  9x12 oil on panel.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tractor View

Mowing has made some fields accessible at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  Here's a seldom seen view of the Hopper, except from a tractor, which I painted yesterday afternoon. In fact, the farmer has told me how much he loves to look at this landscape as he mows.   8x10 oil on panel.

Monday, August 27, 2018


Hopper Road, Williamstown, MA. 6x8 oil on panel plein air painting.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Recently Mowed

One of the hay fields at the end of Hopper Road in Williamstown, MA.  with the Hopper in the background.  I was able to paint in the field because it had been recently mowed.  6x8 oil on panel.