Inspired by the view of the old barn behind the Dulin's house, as seen from across the potato field in the fall. I have been doing a variety of color studies based on this motif for the past few weeks.
I was looking through an old sketchbook and came across a pencil drawing that I had done about ten years ago of these two old mailboxes on the O;d Upton Road near where I used to live in Grafton, MA. I thought that it would make a nice subject for a painting, especially since the drawing didn't have any color in it, thereby allowing me to experiment with some subjective coloring. However, I only had one canvas on hand, a 20" x 36" that it didn't look like it was the right proportions for the drawing. I measured the drawing in my sketchbook to see what the proportions were and the drawing was 5" x 9" – exactly the same proportions as my canvas. So, I took this as a sign that I should proceed with the painting.
Many years ago I simplified my process by reducing my palette down to just the three primary colors, yellow, red and blue, plus white and mixing all of my colors from there. This process made a lot of sense to me ten years ago and it's helped me to learn a lot about color but lately I've been introducing some new colors into my palette, like the Ultramarine and Manganese blues in this painting.
I worked on a version of this painting during the early months of last year, but I was never satisfied with it. It was leaning against the wall in my studio for ten months while I tried to figure out what was wrong with it. In the end, I decided to push the house back further, by making it smaller, which worked out much better. The other version had three trees in the foreground, as well, but it works better with just two. I pulled the old painting off of the stretcher bars and stretched a new canvas for this one – a year after I originally began working on this image. Some images come together quickly, but sometimes the process can be really drawn out and I'm beginning to learn to just be patient and let the images come when they are ready.
I am a full time artist, originally from Massachusetts, currently living in northern Maine. I work primarily in oils and pastel, and occasionally watercolor. I offer instruction in drawing and painting at my studio, which is in an old renovated potato barn. Please feel free to view samples of my work (You can see a larger version of each picture if you click on it.) and leave a comment if you are so inclined. Be sure to click the "Older Posts" button at the bottom to see more work. I don't always have time to respond to comments, but if you wish to correspond with me, you can e-mail me at email@example.com