Monday, June 18, 2012
Wet Works en Plein Air
A couple of weeks ago I visited Gloucester Harbor on a sunny day. Wonderful subjects: dories in the sun, stuck in the wet sand at low tide. Dramatic shadows help to make this an inviting scene. I'll try not to overwork this one, but I may change title to "Gloucester Dories".
This one , painted a few days ago, is almost purely impressionistic in its approach. I had to "slather" copious amounts of paint with painting knife onto a previously painted board. (A portrait lies underneath.) In the studio there is the fun of bringing out nuances of color. Again, this was painted plein air and the danger is that of losing the initial mood of joyous tranquility -- another hazard of overworking. But many of Monet's canvases show evidence of later reworking. In the impressionist approach, this overworking at its best should add nuance and richness in color and texture and avoid the hazards of losing form and mood.
This one was painted one week ago at the Bay Campus of URI, just south of the "Jamestown" Bridge. The sun was getting low and there were enough clouds to notice some cloud shadows -- always a painter's friend. Unlike the previous painting, this painting reeks more of the tonalist than of the impressionist approach. The mood is one of quiet tranquility. I look upon this small work as a study. I would like to paint the scene, with some slight compositional modifications, upon a larger canvas so its mood could have more impact.
Since I must prepare (which means perfecting and framing works) for two solo shows and one shared show in the next two months, I may not have time for the grandiose plan of reworking plein-air studies onto more appropriately-sized supports . Such is the painter's life!