Friday, March 15, 2013

Pre-Spring Activity

    Approaching springtime in coastal New England is hardly ever a "smooth transition" for a plein-air painter.  Although we are within six or seven days of the official date for spring, there is the wintery chill enhanced by a brisk wind that encourages the painter to forage among his images -- painted or not.  These older images bring with them the memory of more blissful than blustery times outdoors.  The "Play of Light"  (painting below) is the result of one such reminiscence as well as an homage to the great seascape painter Frederick Waugh.

The Play of Light, 12x12, Oil on Board

My apologies to the memory of that great painter who would never carelessly spill his ocean off to the right!   In actuality , the horizon in the painting is level, but the photographer of the painting (me) was a bit askew.

                 Another benefit of being driven indoors for a painterly experience is the opportunity to develop portrait skills.  The last session at that weekly portrait session run by that outstanding Copley Society Artist Kate Huntington employed an interesting model.   Interesting features surrounding a model are always a mixed blessing.  They arouse interest in the artist who struggles for a likeness, but also distract the artist from paying attention to essential aspects of the portrait as a painting.  In short, the artist is tempted to spend too much time on these fancies and not enough in the evolution of his corrections -- of drawing, value and color!
The portrait below, then, can be considered as only a sketch and one in which I show my yielding to these blasted yet wonderful distractions.

Monday Portrait, 14x18, Oil on Linen,

    The distractions which I found fascinating in themselves were the textural and colorful ones arising from the patch in her hair, the full-bodied hair itself, and the crimson scarf -- each of which would require more time to develop in a realistic manner.

  Finally, I did manage to run out one sunny afternoon to a local beach and sketch the scene below:

Shores of Goddard Park, 6x6, Oil on Board

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