Monday, April 13, 2015

Warming Up

  The title of this post refers less to the vagaries of our New England weather and more to the artist who must do the preparatory exercises for the upcoming Plein air season.  This first painting , an oil sketch of a split cedar tree, was done a couple of weeks ago-- during the start of the welcome spring thaw:
   The Split Cedar, oil on board, 5x7
     Outings like this during the severe winter were rare for this artist;  I salute all those hearty outdoor painters who are impervious to wind and wind chill.  The next two paintings were done last Saturday, a breezy but wonderful day to paint, sheltered as I was by some small firs at the edge of the marsh:
    Edge of the Marsh, oil on canvas, 9x12

    This peaceful marsh adjoins Bissel's Cove, a favorite painting spot of mine.  For the second oil sketch I moved my pochade easel a few feet to the east:

   The fisherman's House, Oil on paper, 8x10

    It is always a delight for me to paint coastal scenes during low tide.  Although this scene was flooded with frontal lighting, the underside of the upturned dock provided some contrast.  I don't know why the dock looked the way it did; perhaps it was the victim of one of our windy days!
    The Birch-lined Trail, oil on canvas, 8x10

The oil sketch of the trail above was done today.  Again, I found shelter among the trees from the wind.  Bissel's Cove is just on the other side of the tree line.  The attractions here were the birches and sun-dappled path.

    The Lost Boat, oil on board, 8x10

    The oil sketch here reflected the scene on the other side of the birch-lined trail.  There was a small sailboat seemingly abandoned on the opposite shore.
  Obviously most of the oil sketches I do are meant as practice, especially in the seeing and handling of color.  Another benefit of painting even hasty sketches like these is that one builds a store of motifs which may be developed into finer expressions in a larger format.

  Perhaps by the next posting I will have sketches showing the signs of spring!

No comments:

Post a Comment