Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Different Perspective

This 11x14 oil on panel I also did on Thursday this week in one of the hay fields behind the barn at Haley Farm.  The Hopper is actually out of view on the left.  The distant mountain that you see is Greylock.  The mountains are so close together that it doesn't take too much movement around the hayfields to get different perspectives.    The row of trees in the middle ground contain the path leading to the hiking trails.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rolling Hills and Bales

This is the other painting that I painted earlier this week when I painted two.  It's another 11x14 oil on panel.  The location is the upper, upper meadow, the time just before mid-day, and the light is bright.  I actually went back to the location a second time to work on the panel because I wanted to paint the grass in a way that worked without it being too bright.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hopper Head On

This morning I arrived early at Haley Farm where I met up with painters John MacDonald and Walt Pasko.  It was a brilliant day.  The hay had been cut the previous day.  I painted this view of the Hopper head on.  It's an 11x14 oil on panel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hopper with Birches

This is not the other painting that I did yesterday, but one that I completed today at Haley Farm.  You can see the Hopper in the background.  The field I worked from has been mowed in the last couple days giving me access to a place I have never ventured to before, much more distant from the Hopper itself, but more dramatic with the birches.  This painting is an 11x14 oil on panel.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Different View

Earlier today I painted two paintings.  This is the second one, a view of Haley Farm and the Hopper from a slightly different viewing location.  It was mid-afternoon, the time when the shadows appear across the field near where I was standing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Brooklyn Corner

This painting depicts the corner of Dean and Grand in Brooklyn, but this time we are looking south down Grand.  It's early in the morning.  The painting is an 18x24 oil on canvas.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Not Placid

Yesterday morning I went out before the clouds arrived, but the sun didn't last long, and I painted quickly.  This is the view north from the upper meadow.  The mountains are the Dome on the left and Pine Cobble on the right with a partial view of Prospect on the far right.  Though at first glance this view and the painting seem to be tame, to me it's full of tugging and pushing, like water just barely hiding a lot of rocks underneath, or a placid face only hinting the working mind.  The painting is an 11x14 oil on panel.

Friday, September 11, 2015


This afternoon I painted the other tractor, a 2N Ford, parked up Hopper Road away from the other tractors,  at an entrance to a field where it was left a while back.  This is the one that is not as "elegant" as the 8N.  It's still a likable machine, especially in the midst of its unmachinelike natural surroundings.  This painting is oil on an 11x14 panel.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dean Near Grand

This painting is a 24x24 oil on canvas of Dean Street approaching the corner of Grand Street in Brooklyn.  It's early in the morning.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Actor, a Tractor, On Stage

I could only laugh when I saw this one developing.  It looks like a tractor on stage.  I wanted the Hopper as the background, so I just started to paint.  I decided to just keep going.  A blue tractor against a dramatic green background will look odd no matter what.  It's like an actor, except it's a tractor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In Vermont

Today I visited Manchester, Vermont, and painted at the home of friends, in their backyard, which has this tremendous view.  It was hot, but my trusty umbrella helped, and I didn't linger, though it took me a while to figure out exactly what I was going to do.  If a neighbor had been looking on, they would have seen me move my easel about five times before I settled in.  Hopefully you get a sense of the heat and glare.  I was on top of a rise looking down on a field with a few trees.  The painting is an 11x14 oil on panel.

Monday, September 7, 2015

High Meadow and Pasture

This afternoon I decided to work on Labor Day, and went out to a favorite spot in the upper meadow where it borders the end of the pasture.  I was able to work in the shade while looking out into the sun.  Summer is almost over and I feel that I have no problem working with my friend 'Green' any longer.  This is a 10x10 oil on panel, which took my about an hour to complete.

Hay Wagon

This hay wagon sitting in the field before the Hopper I did Friday afternoon, mainly as a challenge because of its complexity.  I'll probably try it again.  

Friday, September 4, 2015


Since this was "tractor week" for me, I went back for one more tractor painting this morning.  I held off until I could talk to the farmer, who was out mowing, with another tractor, to make sure he wasn't going to use this one.   This one is the 8N Ford that I painted yesterday, and painted again after knowing it was not going to be moved.  Its in the same location as yesterday, except I painted it from a different angle.  I talked to the farmer about the N2 parked up the road, which I may paint someday, and he said the N8 is "more elegant."  My experience has been that the people who use these tractors really appreciate their virtues.  I just paint them.  This painting is an 8x10 oil on panel.  


This is, as I learned, an 8N Ford tractor, which has a following among the connoisseurs of tractors.  I find it kinda cute.  I'd like to call her 'Ennie' or 'Annie', if I may, since I see her all the time.  The painting is a 10x10 oil on panel.  As I was painting it yesterday morning, a group of around fifteen Williams freshmen appeared on the dirt road.  They were carrying gear that indicated they were staying overnight on the mountain.  They decided to sit and have lunch behind me.  I must have looked scary since none approached to see what I was doing.  After I had packed up, I went over to wish them a great year in school.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Always Moving

Today I did make another tractor but I'll spare you until tomorrow.  This painting is a view of the corner of Prospect Street and Washington Avenue in Brooklyn.  It's an 18x24 oil on canvas.  When painting it, I kept thinking how the city just keeps moving.  One can stand still for a moment, but everything else just moves.  Even the buildings change.  If you try to stand still for long, even if waiting for the light to change, for example, you will have to move at some point or you will be in somebody's way.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Made in 1942

I was going to post a Brooklyn painting that I completed this week, but this afternoon's tractor turned out well, so I'm posting it instead.  Sorry.  I talked to one of the farmers about it (he calls himself an "antique farmer").  He said that the tractor, a John Deere,  was made in 1942.  That's seventy-three years ago.  They take good care of their tractors.  The farmer said that he was also made in 1942!  He's still getting around.  The painting is a 10x10 oil on panel, made this afternoon.

Tractor Week

Looks like tractor week.  This tractor was parked next to the trees at the edge of the field, its work done for the day: an 8x10 oil on panel, which I painted on site yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Painting A Tractor

Trying to get back into the rhythm of studio and plein-air painting, I kept thinking of Brian Sweetland, the superb outdoor painter, whose memorial retrospective I saw last year at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.  He loved painting farms, and there was an entire wall devoted to small paintings of tractors.  So I went out and painted a tractor.  Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road has six working tractors that were all available yesterday afternoon for any painter who happened to come by.  The above is an 8x10 oil on panel.