Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Intervention

       The painting shown above, a still life involving roses in a violet glass vase, is typical of this painter's activity during periods of wintry weather.  The snowstorms and harsh cold discouraged my attempts at plein-air painting. Still life, however, represents the "etudes" of a painter, a real necessity in keeping observational skills sharp and technique honed.  This little sketch, 9x12, accomplished in a few hours, was done on linen.  In this setup, I used primarily back- lighting.

 Since the weather, for once, allowed me to
Travel safely to Providence, I was able to attend Kate Huntington's Portrait session.  She managed to get the locally famous Tish Adams, jazz singer and radio show host, to sit for us.  The portrait shown here, sketched in little more than two hours, was an oil on board, 16x20.  I was pleased with the design, but I think a few corrections are necessary before I consider this a finished portrait.  Next Monday I hope to interrupt these wonderful sessions at Kate's studio by showing up for a Figure Drawing session given at the Warwick Art Museum in Apponaug,RI.  The Museum offers figure drawing every third Monday of the month for a low $8 fee.

       The sketch above is a watercolor copy of a scene by John C. Pellew, a painter born in Cornwall, England, but resided in Connecticut.  The scene above was based on a scene Pellew painted at Rockport, MA.  Turning to watercolor (and pastel) is another strategy I use to avoid the "plein-air Blues". I have even fallen back on sharpening drawing skills.  Here's a self-portrait done in charcoal on gray paper heightened with white Conte crayon:

One day I was able to get to my Kingston studio on a sunny but bitterly cold day.
The rear window afforded a rather upbeat snow scene which I hastened to record in oil as the tree shadows lengthened.  The 9x12 sketch could seve as the basis of s larger format.  The result of my efforts :

The road to the house could use a couple of figures, but it was so cold outside, despite the sun, that I didn't have the heart to have even imaginary figures suffer on my canvas!

  Today (March 11), the temperature reached 50 degrees (F) and so I leaped outside, traveling to the Hummocks in North Kingstown to rapidly sketch in the 9x12 oil on canvas which upon finishing will be called March Thaw.  Although it is not yet officially Spring, today was a kind of intervention by the gentler forces soon to replace this memorable winter.

March Thaw, oil on canvas, 9x12

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