Tuesday, December 15, 2015

With You There Beside Me
(oil on canvas, 2015)

(Private Collection)
A couple of buildings from the old Schools farm, just north of my house. In fact, I can see the back of that big barn from the window over my kitchen sink. This has been the subject of several drawings and paintings over the years. This is a variation on a composition from six years ago but with a very different color scheme.

The elements that have drawn me to landscape as a subject matter are the deep space, the light and the atmosphere. Other common subjects – figures, interiors, still life, etc. – usually deal with relatively shallow space, with controlled lighting and not much atmosphere. But the landscape seems to extend away from us forever – or at least as far as we can see, and I relish any opportunity to try and create the illusion of that deep space on the flat surface of a canvas or sheet of paper. And once the surface of the painting has been pushed back far away from the viewer, there opens up an enormous vacuum that can potentially be filled with light and atmosphere. Easier said than done sometimes, and it's something that I find a lot of my students have difficulty with. Even I have difficulty with it sometimes.


martinealison said...


Cette oeuvre est pleine de charme. J'aime beaucoup l'atmosphère qu'elle dégage. Une très belle harmonie de couleurs.

Je vous souhaite de joyeuses fêtes de Noël.

Gros bisous ☃

Alison Dibble said...

Hi Frank,

I totally get what you're saying about landscape and the farther view. It's an endless challenge! Thanks so much for helping me learn how to paint the wide open outdoors. I think some of your instruction is starting to stick.

All the best,