Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blue October Sky (oil on canvas, 2009)

(Private Collection)
First painting of the new year. I didn't get much work done during the holidays. Well, not much art work, anyway. Plenty of baking, writing out Christmas cards, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, and entertaining house guests. Then, I almost managed to burn my studio down when I absent-mindedly left a plastic can of black house paint on top of my heater and the bottom melted out. It has taken me two weeks to finally get the smell of burnt plastic out of the building.

I laid out the composition for this painting back in November and, prior to the holidays, I did about half a dozen small color studies, mostly experimenting with different colors for the sky, which for some reason, I thought had to be any color but blue. In the end, I couldn't decide and figured that I should stop thinking about it and just start the painting and that I would know what color to paint the sky when the time came. It turned out blue after all. At least I know that I didn't choose blue out of indolence – it was chosen to bring out the oranges in the grass.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

October Light (oil on canvas, 2008)

(Private Collection)
I actually finished this right before Christmas but haven't had a chance to photograph it and post it until now. These are one very old and two fairly new barns next to the ITS trail where it crosses Wiley Road here in Littleton. I parked my car across from here one Saturday afternoon in late October and hiked south on the ITS trail with my pastels and easel to a nice clearing with a tractor path meandering through it and a very old tree that held a lot of promise for a compositional subject. Unfortunately, after setting up, I heard far to many rifle shots to feel comfortable (I have been told by a reliable source that a stray rifle bullet can travel as far as two miles.) so, dejectedly, I hiked back to the car and as I was loading my gear into the back I saw the afternoon sun hitting the side of this old barn and once again, as so often happens, found my subject in a place where I hadn't expected to.