The Paintings and thoughts of an ala prima painter on the practical to the pedantic. The focus will be on observation, technique,and philosophy.
Friday, December 13, 2013
The New and the Old
The Park, O/C, 6 x 6
The small oil on the left was actually sketched on location at Goddard Park after a snow event last winter. The scene was never shown to the public since, like most of my plein-air work, it is in need of correction and refinement. Indoors and after the fact, I can view the work at my leisure to determine whether a "second pass" is in order. I can see now that I waited too long for an opportunity to go back to this site and begin anew the process of refinement. At my indoor easel I hope to correct some blunders that are apparent; for example, (1) a sloping horizon line that is a unsettling to view and (2) figures that could be better defined, placed, and integrated with the scene. The danger of revisiting a plein-air scene is always the loss of the initial excitement . So, even after obvious and not-so-obvious correction, I will need to keep it on the wall to be sure that the painting retains an element of interest before its eventual release to other and (perhaps more critical) eyes.
This painting (to the left) is a 9x12 Oil on Canvas of the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace in North Kingstown. Again, this work is a past oil sketch, never framed and shown to the public. I also see the need for some (minor) corrections, but I do like to preserve the joy of this summer day . The feeling of the painting is paramount and can only be squelched through overworking. Incidentally, the Gilbert Stuart Museum includes this property and allows artists to paint any of the subjects on the grounds during an "Artist-in Residence" period each summer. At the end of the summer the museum offers an art show which helps with funding. Perhaps this piece may show up on the walls of this show next summer!
Pond by My Door, Oil on Wood, 8x10
And now for the "New". The painting on the left is a brief (under one hour) oil sketch of the small pond outside my apartment door. The snow was fresh but fast disappearing as the temperature rose. The rough sketch shows in the middle ground a white birch reflecting weakly in the pond. near the foreground there is a fallen tree that provides one edge to the pond. The foreground shows a large tree adorned with several thick vines. To add interest there are two geese in the water. The spot gave me the feeling of a cozy hideaway, made more interesting by the new-fallen snow. More finish needs to be brought to the distance, among other corrections/ refinements. Indeed, the sketch is only a few days old and will need more time to "ferment" in the vat of the artist's mind. Again, I would like to retain as much of the spontaneity as possible since that is part of the joy transmitted by this painting.
I love impressionist painting but there is also the influence of the Tonalist School in my work. I love the outdoors, especially the coastline, beach, rocks, and waves. I believe in a life beyond the commercial saturation of society,and I find life without poetry and music unliveable. I love the paintings of Sorolla, Sargent, and Metcalf; the music of Rachmaninov, Borodin, and Bizet; and poems of Rumi and other Sufis.