Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bright Morning Canal and Everything

This particular tree keeps attracting me. The pastel is done over acrylic wash. Multi-media.

In the same interview cited earlier Fairfield Porter said, "I think [painting is]...a way of making the connection between yourself and everything. You connect yourself to everything that includes yourself by the process of painting."

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Revelation of the Obvious

In the charcoal drawing, I familiarized myself with the view. The top image is pastel over acrylic washes.

I have been reading about Fairfield Porter, a painter I have always liked, especially his landscapes. In an interview he once used the phrase "the revelation of the obvious." He painted what was around him, where he happened to be and live. The phrase "the revelation of the obvious" suggests that because it's obvious we may miss the revelation.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oil on the Weekend

Well, I didn't crank out too many. Here's two. The bottom one is a view from inside a colonnade of pine trees looking out onto a field. The three trees are not part of the colonnade. The top one is an open field at the back of the park. What's amazing is that if you stay in one place for a while, dozens of people go by, runners, cyclists, wanderers. I even saw a fox long before he saw me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Near the Water

The acrylic preparation on watercolor paper was not very exciting, just some yellow, which is peering through the pastel. This is a bright late afternoon view of the canal from today. I have to get back to my almost daily regimen now and crank out a few small oils this weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Under the Canal

The bottom image is the preliminary acrylic sketch on watercolor paper, followed by the pastel additions on the top. This is another view of the canal north of Rivera Avenue early in the morning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Root Canal

The bottom canal is yesterday's pastel reworked. It needed more punch. I'm just pushing ahead to see what happens.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In a Canal Zone

In the bottom canal I started with washes of acrylic on watercolor paper, and then completed it with pastels. For the top canal I did a pastel painting on colourfix paper, and then wiped the whole thing down with a soft brush, a sort of dry wash (I did that outside). Then I reworked it again with pastel. As I wrote yesterday, I was trying to stay loose and painterly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Canal North of Rivera

For a brief time this morning the sun shone brilliantly. Then the rains came. I will do pastel versions of these black and whites tomorrow and try to work with the same lightness and looseness.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In the Woods

The two oil sketches I did in the woods yesterday. I may still be in the woods trying to find my way out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Park Parking Lot Entrance

The parking lot this early in the morning will always be empty. This is straight pastel on uart paper. 8x10. I also did a couple 8x10 oils but will post those later.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Park Parking Lot and Pig Story

Only time for a charcoal drawing. More tomorrow.

When is a painting like a pig? Here's a story that I have 'borrowed' from Steve Allrich, whose book on oil painting I have been reading:

Speaking of making a living as a painter, it ain’t easy. There are as many reasons for this as there are stars in the sky (well, maybe not quite that many), but I had an experience almost 20 years ago that I believe gets to the heart of the matter.

I had set up my easel on a country road in Vermont, in front of a small, picturesque farm. My subject: dappled light on a derelict, old flatbed truck parked in a sea of weeds, with a decrepit barn behind it (I love broken-down stuff. Paging Dr. Freud).

While I was painting, a farmer (the owner of said farm) drove by on a tractor, hauling manure (draw your own conclusions). We nodded warily at one another, and he chugged by without a word. He subsequently drove past me at least a dozen times as I painted and never said a thing, although I did catch him glancing suspiciously at my painting once or twice as he passed by.

I finished, and was packing up to leave, when he drove up, shut off his tractor and asked to see the painting. He liked it (to our mutual surprise) and asked how much I wanted for it. I thought for a moment, and then quoted him a dirt-cheap price. After all, he’d been nice enough not to shoot me; and I figured that if I could leave with enough cash to fill the car with gas, buy lunch, and put a down payment on a couple of tubes of Cadmium Yellow Light, I’d be happy as a clam.

When he heard the price, the farmer looked at me like I’d just questioned the virtue of his only daughter. He snorted in disgust, hacked a slimy wad on the pavement and said, “Hell, I could buy a pig for that.” Then he started up his tractor and drove away.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Tree in the Park

This morning the sun was fresh and bright. 6x8 oil.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Preview of View

This spot I found recently while driving around. However, it was a bit cloudy. Nevertheless it's an incredible view no matter the conditions. I prefer sunny days. I plan on returning there to paint in a couple weeks. There's even a spot to park the car, and set up the easel, just beyond the apple trees across from the telephone pole.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oil's Turn

I continue to make the small 6x8 oil paintings. This is another view of Sloan Road toward the Hopper. A field is visible through the trees on the left providing a double depth on either side of the trees that line the road on the north side. Time is one's most precious asset. I wish I could draw and paint all day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Facing West

Sloan Road goes in the other direction as well, west towards the Taconics, besides east towards the Hopper. Visible at the end of the road is a silo at the Cricket Creek Farm, past Field Farm. The time depicted is early afternoon. This 8x10 painting is acrylic on watercolor paper, finished with pastel.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sheep Hill Redux

I re-worked with pastel an acrylic sketch made a few weeks ago at Sheep Hill. The image represents a hot afternoon on the hill. It is this steep, and the mountains are there in the background, looking much cooler than where I was sitting at the time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In the Fields

The first two oil paintings are 6x8 specimens of my daily regime. They represent views from the ocean walkway in Ogunquit, Maine. The top two are 8x10s that I did today. The first is a view of the Hopper from a field off of Sloan Road. I needed to work in the shade which explains the indirect view. The top image is a view of a tree on the enormous hill behind the Clark Art Institute. I was surprised to meet two other painters already there when I arrived: Rob Zeller and his colleague Bennett. I will get back to my pastels shortly.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hopper View II

This is an experiment. I did a quick underpainting with fairly thin acrylic, and then finished with pastel. I think I will try it again on the next pastel. This approach forces simplicity, which is what I am after. It's an 8x10 on Canson watercolor paper.

Monday, August 9, 2010

House Shadow

I chose to do a 6x8 oil instead of a pastel. I may skip the pastel. Too much ominous De Chirico shadow.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Origin of the Geometric Shadow

It's actually just a house at the top of the hill when the sun is in the right position that casts a geometric shadow. It may be even more bizarre in pastel.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Road Show

The first three are 6x8 oils, part of my almost daily regimen. The last pair show the top of Blair Road. The pastel is 9x12 on pastelmat paper.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Field Off Sloan Road-The Pastel

When I first looked, I thought, well, there's a lot there, but I will have to pull it out.

I have been reading about Cezanne lately. He structured and pulled out a lot from his landscape motifs. Another aspect of Cezanne that struck me is that he lived to be 67, only 67 years of age, even though he looks fragile and ancient in those late photos by Bernard and Roussel. Somebody (Robert Hughes?) wrote that if he had died at the age of fifty, he would be remembered only as a minor artist today, if that. He painted most of his great works in the last 17 years of his life (1889-1906). Another thought: everyone is familiar with Van Gogh. Did you realize that his artistic career lasted only ten years? Ten years.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Field Off Sloan Road

This is another charcoal preparation for a pastel of the same view. 6x9 this time.

I came across two quotes of significance to the visual artist from The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal:

1) St. Columbianus said, "Understand creation if you would understand the Creator."

2) Simone Weil said, "Absolute attention is prayer."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sloan Road towards the Hopper

This view accidentally includes the names of two American artists, John Sloan and Edward Hopper. But that's only one reason that I like this location.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This is a view towards the Hopper from Sloan Road on a bright and early sunny morning. The pastel version is next.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pastel Souvenir

I have been reading Wordsworth lately. This could be called, "Pastel created upon the occasion of standing for two and a half hours painting in a field off of Stratton Road."