Sunday, December 9, 2007

(1) New Eyes - Day One

11 x 14” watercolor on paper - Not for sale
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18 x 24” oil on paper - Not for sale
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On July 2, 2007, I became unemployed for the first time. As was such, I made the intention to do something for myself. This "something" meant painting at the Shelburne Orchard owned by Nick and Cindy Cowles. Walking for some time with my companion dog Georgia during the mid morning, I finally found a spot just off the orchard's "runway" (airplane landing strip) looking westward towards Lake Champlain.

It had been some time since I attempted to paint "en plein aire". I found myself stuck on the yellows of the grass (short and tall). Trying to paint quickly I laid the paint down in a loose fashion, which was challenging as I tend to "think" in my work. The mountains benefited from the quick work, however, the trees were overworked while I found the values bleeding into each other. This value problem was solved by using purple lines to define the trees, this "drawing with the paint" technique was new for me - a great accident/mistake. This "purple line" led to a liberation in that I could paint more freely and quickly without the fear of color contrast and values.

The movement of color was purposeful with an "S" of blue/purple mountains sweeping across the top and then curving downward and through the lower half of the "S" via the path. The shades of yellow and red on the ground and grass became more and more vivid as I sat.Instead of that Monday being marked by my not working, a challenging memory, I look back in a happy way ... new life, new eyes, a new day.

The second image is my first attempt at converting a water color to an oil based version. I could play with the colors and express the image in different ways with oils. The water color provided a quick way to capture what I "saw" at the moment and was intimate in being "there", as opposed to the oil where I set up at home and worked for over a week.

I expanded the colors of the mountains to include green and purple while I tried to solidify the trees, though they are still dark without drastic contrasts of green (as they were at the time of the painting). The whimsy of the tree shapes was purposeful, more from feeling than observation.

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