Thursday, October 18, 2012

October's Pace

The oil painting , 12 x 16 on canvas, on the left was conceived after I had purchased a small blanket with a colorful Southwest design.  I knew then that a small eggplant would lend a nice accent to a still life arranged on the blanket.  As you can see the other characters in this "drama" included my favorite green-glass wine bottle and a bosc pear.  (A still life sketched just before the one shown included three bosc pears supported by a tarnished silver lotus-shaped dish.  The still life shown here, called "Baby Eggplant"  is far more colorful.)  The fun, of course, in this exercise was in registering the chroma and its harmonies, observing reflected lights , and working edges and translucent qualities associated with glass and its shadow.  I carefully grew a patina of dust in some areas of the bottle which I think gives its texture more tactile quality.  Although the background is dark , the chroma of the blanket and objects keep the painting on the happier side in mood.  Now I can eat the eggplant!

Brittany, O/C, 14x18
 The portrait on the left represented another mode of escape for this plein-air artist.  The artist Kate Huntington started up her weekly portrait and figure  sessions upon her return from Provincetown, and I couldn't resist sharpening talents in this area.  The model was amazing in her coloration.  Skin a pearly opalescent and a full mass of red hair.  Others remarked how closely Brittany's coloring resembled a Renoir waiting to be painted.  The light airiness of that master was, I found, hard to achieve.  My only excuse ( and I'm good at finding at least one) in not achieving the quality of a Renoir in this sketch was that I painted in an area of the room with uneven lighting.  Usually low-level lighting, I find, forces chroma , but sometimes hues cannot be properly matched.  In the past I could have used the excuse that the model moved, but not here.  The model sat perfectly.

Late Afternoon, Narragansett, O/C, 16x20
 I show a few plein-ar sketches here to show that, despite some rainy days and days on which the light was variable, I tried not to let the weather "get me down" and surrender to the life of a still-life painter -- not that there is anything wrong with that! 
This painting was inspired by the gorgeous sky that happened to be playing above the shore that day.  It is really a cloudy day scene made happy by the colorful illumination from above.

October Trees, Oil on Board, 12x12
 October Trees, left, is a labor of love, since I do love trees -- and who doesn't?  Especially in the period of early October when the transitions to fall foliage are very subtle here in southern New England.

The Youngster, O/C, 9x12
  The Youngster, left, was painted later in October in the same area as the painting above (in Goddard Park).  The sapling seems to have grown more mature (in color) than the older trees around it.  Again such a grouping allows study of values, chroma, and atmosphere.

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