Monday, August 25, 2008

49) Peaches and Pears

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - $75

Late August near the rows of peaches and pear trees. The peaches are obvious from the tree on the right while the tall light colored trees of the background are pears. I did not realize the pear trees were as such until after packing up and walking close. Light from the midday sun created a rich dark red hue on the peach tree bark. The grass was a mesh of swirling green and yellow. For the first time in weeks there was not a cloud in the sky.

48) Shadows and Mowed Grass

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - $125
Click HERE to purchase a reprint or cards 

Aug 17 sitting at the north end of the run way looking west. The hanger in the background inspired me with the shadows and hanging ivy. From a distance I could only make out the rough image of ladders stacked in the center of the hanger. Later I took a break and walked close to the hanger with Georgia, I was amazed at the difference between the objects I saw from a distance and what actually was stored in the hanger (crates, old windows, rows of benches). Painting what one sees and not what one perceives is fascinating to me. As I sit and observe then commit paint to paper I begin to see shapes and shades instead of objects. This happened in several places including the burn pit of the foreground and the fence along the right side of the work. When I observe and see instead of interpreting objects the flow changes, I am present and not lost in thought (the interpretation of the objects).

Sometimes I see a place or something and say “I want to paint it”, yet I am unsure why. As I move through the painting I suddenly discover why, and that occurred here. The composition allows for movement with connecting colors and contrasting values. The red from the hanger roof curves across the upper painting, which is picked up by the barely exposed gate on the far right then back towards the center from the streaks of dirt in the burn pile. Complementing the reds are the variety of greens in addition to the oranges of the mowed grass and the blues of the sky. Remnants of branches missed from the burn jut out from the purple/red dirt and blue ash.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

47) Apples and Peaches

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - not for sale

August 13 in the southern part of the orchard looking north between a row of older apples and peaches. The color from both the peach and apple fruit graced the waves of deep green leaves and yellowing grass. It was late morning that bled into early afternoon with a few shadows cast from the sun overhead. Row upon row of small clouds lined up southwest to northeast in addition to a long mass of giant clouds sitting far to the north. It has been a long time since I have seen a cloudless sky.

Sitting closer to the apple tree I could capture the variation of red and green in the tree, unlike the peaches that were at a distance and were flatter in color (though later when walking through the rows of peaches I could admire the rich blending of crimson, orange and yellow). The purple branches of the apple wove back in forth between the waves of leaves that shot out in all directions, reaching for sunlight. The leaves of the peaches are very different than that of the apples, long and slender, lighter in shade. As I painted both apple and peach leaves I was reminded of the difference between the two brush strokes, the apple like quick darting and pointed dots while the peaches felt like flicking minnows across the paper. The smells of the cut grass in addition to the occasional sent from the peaches as the wind changed added another element to the time that I can only hold with memory and these few words.

46) Crates and Delivery Truck

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - Sold

Looking north from the Packing Shed. The apple collection crates are stacked high in front of the delivery truck. The rain came on the first day I painted (8/8/8) forcing me to retreat and to return two days later. The second day brought with it the threat of rain too, fortunately the storm clouds stayed far to the north.

For some time I thought about painting this scene and hesitated due to the fact that painting the crates in prior works caused me to deliberate far too long in representing the stack, this time I chose to attack the crates quickly using a broad undercoating wash of all the crates then filling in the details of darker values after. The truck turned out well and my quick work with the crates benefited my capturing the truck as mid way through the work Nick needed to drive the truck away.

There is so much color that appears when I sit and observe. Not at first, gradually the reds, purples and blues make their way through the greens of grass. The reds and oranges of the earthen tracks made by truck and tractor, the blues and purples from the gravel road in the foreground. Even the rusty bumper of the truck offers a warm burgundy shade that cuts across the green grass connecting the reds from the truck lights and balancing the apples and dirt path to the left.

Each day brings patterns of new and amazing clouds that tower and billow, as they travel across the sky I try and capture their spirit and movement.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

45) Homestead and Adirondacks

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - $75

From the deck on the back of the office looking west. Early August. Nick and Cindy’s house in the background surrounded by a variety of trees including willows and a few apples in the foreground. The clouds hung low partially obscuring the Adirondacks. I struggled with contrast for the greens.

44) Five Young Maples

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - $75

July 29 sitting on the runway looking north. On the left are five young maples while on the left a row of apples. The oranges are from the freshly mowed grass. There is so much green after the weeks of rain.

43) Elder Lady 3

11 x 14” watercolor on 300 pound cold press paper - not for sale
Click HERE to purchase a reprint or cards 

Sitting in the old orchard on July 18 looking west. The angles and curves of the old trees are worth the work. I tried to capture the “sheet-like” quality of the willows in the background. The apples were the size of golf balls half red and green. As the afternoon light shifted the bark of the apple tree turned from purple blue to purple red.