Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Growing Old Together (oil on canvas, 2015)

Of all the primary and secondary colors, I've found that none has more variations than the color Green. There are a seemingly infinite number of mixtures from light to dark, warm to cool, intense to dull, that can all be classified as "greens". Yellow-greens, blue-greens, intense grass greens, grey-greens, brownish greens, moss greens, etc.. I have also found that green is a difficult color to work with. Getting the many permutations of green to get along with one another in a picture can be a challenge. Although the landscape here in the summer can be filled with intense greens, those same greens can appear artificial and unnatural when translated into oil paint on canvas. But I enjoy the challenge of working with green, as trying as it can be. It is an essential color for conveying the summer light of the rural, agricultural landscape where I live.

This is the old Currier house. I have painted this subject before, from farther away, at different times of the year and even from the other side. This summer, whilst cycling by it, I was attracted to the shape of the shadow on the side of the house, which only occurs for a few minutes each day. It took me a few tries to get the timing right, but I managed to get out there a few times at precisely the right moment and make some graphite drawings, which gave birth to a series of color studies in pastel and, eventually, this painting.

Several people, upon first seeing this painting, have asked me, "Where is that?" which always puzzles me because it's such an abstraction and not at all an illustration of a particular place. Perhaps (and I like to think that this is the case) when they see it, it makes them think of a place that they want to go, rather than a place that they recognize. In fact, one friend, when first seeing the painting, didn't ask where it was but, instead said, "I want to live in that house."

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