Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Day at the End of the Road

This image was painted on site the day after Fall came to Glen Arbor. It's not a large image, something like 6x12 or in that neighborhood. I have the tendency to work small when I'm working on site. Part of it may be a hangover from illustration where size does matter. (too big, takes too long) But also when you work on site everything around you is so rapidly changing. A lot happens that is completely out of the painter's control. The wind might come up, the cloud patterns change, the direction of the sun is continually moving, someone might decide to park their car directly in front of your vista. Working small has its advantage pyschologically as well. The work doesn't become "too precious". When the work becomes precious or the painter becomes too attached to outcome vs. process the work begins to suffer. Its a hard thing to practice detachment in painting. I think it boils down to being able to strike a fine balance between being able to see whats working and what needs more attention.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What a Difference an Hour Can Make

Am back in Grand Rapids again after being gone for the last ten days painting at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. I can't believe how quickly the time flew by. And its amazing how much painting & foundational work one can get done when there are no distractions, unless you count knitting as a distraction. Though in defense of the knitting, I did manage to knit a hat and 3/4 of a sock. The two paintings I am posting were completed on Sunday, September 27, before and during the shift from summer-like weather to more appropriate fall weather. 

The wind was starting to pick up a bit and the black flies were starting to become a bit fierce as I was completing the painting shown here with the pine trunk. By then, friends & fellow painters Joe and Carol Spaulding had called it a day and headed for home. I started to pack everything up and head in that direction as well, but decided to take a detour to where the-county-road-ends-at-edge-of-the-water. (yes, the sign says that) The atmosphere was so  juicy with the approaching cold front I couldn't resist popping the hatch open and standing under the lift gate and knocking off a little painting. As an aside, I wasn't the only one to take refuge in my car. While I was painting, apparently a swarm of black flies decided that my car was a great refuge from the wind and the rain as well. By the time I packed it all in, there were at least 100 flies, who took me days of swatting and driving with the windows down really fast to rid my car of.