Sunday, August 29, 2010

Height of Summer (oil on canvas, 2010)

This is a view of a shed off of the Framingham Road. It's actually almost directly behind my house; if I were to walk a mile and a half through the woods I'd end up right here. I've run and ridden my bike past his building countless times over the past four years and have always wanted to paint it but it's very far from the road. I walked down the dirt road that leads past it and worked from the other side. I did some pastel drawings and then worked up this fairly large painting (30 x 36) back in the studio. I had to go to Massachusetts for a few days and tried to finish it before I left because I like to work up the whole painting while the paint is still wet and pliable. Plus, my process involves mixing up all of my colors before I start to paint, so I like to finish a painting before all of the colors dry up. I was unable to finish before leaving, however, so I had to work on it when I returned and, although I had to remix a lot of colors, I fond some interesting textural effects that resulted from applying layers of wet paint over paint that was tacky or already dry.

Air Conditioner (pastel on paper, 2010)

(Private Collection)
This was another image done during the "Paint Presque Isle" event (see post below). The skies were completely clear by the morning, but by afternoon large cumulus clouds had begun to roll by, periodically blocking out the sun. I did a big walk around downtown with my backpack full of pastels, without much sunshine. Just as I'd decided to head back to the car and drive somewhere else, I passed this alley and the sun came out and I saw my subject. When I was a kid, I used to go to karate lessons in an old building like this and we used to enter and exit through the back door via an alley that looked very much like this. I could help thinking about those days as I worked on this.

Maine Public Service Co. (oil on canvas, 2010)

(Private Collection)
I did this yesterday as part of the "Paint Presque Isle" event sponsored by the Aroostook Partners for the Arts. Artists worked all day in the city of Presque Isle and the work was auctioned off in the evening. This is a view of the Maine Public Service building on the State Street hill. I don't like to spend a lot of time traveling around looking for subject matter, which is why most of my work is based on subjects within a couple of miles from my house. As a result, I spend a lot of time looking at fields, woods and old barns and farm houses. It's always refreshing to be able to work in a more urban environment and I don't mind talking to the occasional curious passerby. This was done in the parking lot behind the Northeastland Hotel, where I registered for the event. I was initially drawn to the shadow patterns cast by the awnings and the compositional possibilities created by the diagonal of the hill and the church across the street.

Red Maple Tree (oil on canvas, 2010)

Small painting (8 x 10) of the red maple tree behind my studio. I did this as demo during a plein air painting workshop.