Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rusted Roof (oil on canvas 2010)

(Private Collection)
I went out Monday with a couple of students to paint and I did this small painting (10 x 12), with a couple of changes back in the studio yesterday and this morning. This old barn is on the Wiley Road and I've painted and drawn it numerous times, but never from this angle. I'm working on a pretty good sunburn on my left arm and the back of my neck and if I had any sense, I would have chosen a view that would have put me in the shade, but I like this composition. It was amazing watching the sun move as I worked. When I started mixing my colors, the little room on the left was completely in shadow and when I started packing up three and a half hours later, the entire left side of the barn was in sunlight.

We met Dale Henderson, who owns this land (He has several newer, functional potato houses just behind where I was standing.) He told us that his grandfather Tom erected this structure in 1912 and that they're going to tear it down this year (before it falls in on its own). Too bad for me, as I quite enjoy it as a subject matter. I'll have to get a few more paintings done before the demolition takes place.


laura vie said...

This is a very strong painting, about my favorite. I can see why you enjoy Richard Sheehan's work despite the difference in subject matter.

Frank said...

Thank you for your kind words, Laura. Richard Sheehan had a huge impact on me when I first saw his work as an undergraduate at Holy Cross back in 1984 and it continues to inspire me. His strong formal, yet always inventive, compositions, the strong sense of light, especially at those times of day when the shadows are longest, and his wonderful textural application of the paint are all aspects of his work which I admire tremendously and are elements that have always been important to me in my own work. Above all, though, his mastery of color, his ability to create these wonderful symphonies of near-neutral colors, which can tend to be highly volatile in a picture, and then accent them with very high-key, saturated colors, is something that I may spend my entire life aspiring to. I was very disappointed that I was unable to get down to Boston to see the recent retrospective of his work. I have had the benefit of seeing some of his paintings in person at the home of my friend and former drawing/printmaking teacher and in person, his work has a power and austerity that is difficult to capture in a reproduction. I was very sad to hear that he had passed away at such a young age.