Summer is moving far too quickly for this painter! I am making the most of it, however, and have been out painting as much as I can, and am also exhibiting work in several places this month. Three paintings of mine are in a group exhibit called "Island Light" which opens this evening at the Blue Hill Public Library, and I also have twenty paintings in a two-person show with the wonderful painter Amy Pollien at the Northeast Harbor Library on Mount Desert Island. Amy and I hung the show earlier this week, and we will have an opening at the library on Friday August 11, from 5-7 p.m. Amy's work is so fantastic, and I am thrilled to be showing with her in this great exhibition space. The press release from the Mount Desert Islander newspaper has more information. And as usual, my work is on display at Landing Gallery in Rockland. Keeping it short since I am headed out to go to two different artists' open studios today, and then attend the opening the Blue Hill Public Library. August! Make it count...! Best wishes from here.
I'm not going to fib, this has been a long difficult winter and continues to be a trying time in general. However, I am happy to say that painting is bringing me a sense of purpose and joy, especially as I continue to explore subjects that are close to my heart. This is a studio painting (there it is...! in my studio...!) I made early this spring, from memory, of the full moon rising over the treeline near the cabin I stay in on Bear Island in Penobscot Bay. I saw this happen last summer and carried the image with me until the time felt right to try and paint it. And one day, when nothing else was insisting on being done first, that moment finally arrived - 18 x 24", oil on canvas:
I suppose we could call the finished painting an ode to Payne's Gray, one of my favorite colors to both paint with and mix other colors from. My palette tells the tale, doesn't it! About the search for how to paint that evening-time, when any color in the landscape reads as near-black, and yet isn't, at all. Wonderful to think about the eerie magic of a midsummer island night, this time of year. Here's another new painting, from late-winter - also made in my studio, but this one from life, by looking out the window and down the hill we live on, to the ocean, about a mile away:
Snow fell the night before, and the wind was whipping up the cove and the fat clouds overhead. This one is a 12 x 9" panel, a familiar size I love to paint on. The cloud shadows on the water and the snow on the far hills, mmm. Every winter for the past few years I've made many paintings of this view, either zooming way in or widening out to encompass more space.
Another of my ongoing painting obsessions remains my love of Mount Desert Island and Schoodic. And I'm so happy to say that Landing Gallery in Rockland, Maine is once again having a solo show of my work this year - Water and Stone: Schoodic and Mount Desert Island. I will deliver around 60 paintings to the gallery in mid-May. The show dates are May 26th - June 25th, and the official opening is during the First Friday Art Walk on June 2nd, from 5-8 p.m. I have been working on this show for several years and many of the paintings in it are from my time as an artist-in-residence at Acadia National Park. I was born in Bar Harbor and lived there as a child before moving away, and I have to say that painting in that area, now, as an adult, has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. It feels like a full-circle journey. Paintings in the show range in size from very small (5 x 7") to large (40 x 64"). There will be a catalogue available, with images of 23 of the paintings. This painting (already sold) is on the front cover - Blue and gold day, the corner, Schoodic Point, Maine, oil/canvas, 18 x 18":
I also have work in a few group shows around the state this summer. The first is the season opener at Landing Gallery, the 2017 Invitational, alongside works from Scott Baltz, Andrew Anderson-Bell, Roberta Baumann, Bruce Busko,Tom Curry, Brian Krebs, Monique Lazard, Marlene Loznicka, Bill Mayher, David Peterson, Björn Runquist, Robert Stebleton, Liliana Thelander, Jill Valliere, and J.M. Wilde. The opening is Friday evening May 5th, from 5-8 p.m. One of my paintings in this show is Morning view to North Haven, from Pendleton Point, Islesboro, Maine, oil/linen, 16 x 14":
Then, two small paintings of mine are in the summer season show, Maine Wood(s), at the L.C. Bates Museum in Fairfield. The show opening is May 4th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. I am not going to be able to be in two places at once, unfortunately, so I won't be at the opening myself (I will be in Rockland at Landing Gallery instead). I have not seen a list of the other artists included in this show, but did see some of the work when I dropped off my paintings last week, and it looks fantastic so far. It will be up through mid-October.
Lastly, some of my work has been selected for the August exhibit Island Light at the Blue Hill Public Library. This show is curated by Jennifer Mitchell-Nevin and Marcia Stremlau, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. It opens on Friday, August 4th and runs through September 1st. This is an important fundraiser for the library and I'm so happy to participate, to help support literacy, books, and artists all at once. Again, I haven't seen a list of the other artists yet, although I do know that the amazing painter Louise Bourne will have work there too. And three of my paintings will be in the show, including this one - Penobscot Bay fog bank, from Islesboro, Maine, oil/canvas, 20 x 20":
Whew, I think that's all for now! One of the great things about being indoors working all winter is this: as soon as the warmer weather returns, I find myself caught up with everything - ready for summer shows, work framed and photographed and labelled - and thus free to pack up my painting basket and head outside to make new work! Last week I painted on Deer Isle and also in Lincolnville. It's so wonderful to sit by the edge of the ocean and, as if you couldn't tell from most of the paintings above, observe and try to paint the light. As far as I'm concerned, an excellent thing to focus on, now or at any time.
Thanks for reading - I hope to see you at an opening this summer!
Fall is here and I have been out painting the gorgeous colors here in Maine, mostly on the blueberry barren which is a fifteen-minute walk from our front door. After driving a lot this summer to paint, mostly way downeast, it's a relief to stay home for a change and focus on what's just a bit closer at hand!
A few notes about where to see my work this fall. First, Landing Gallery in Rockland has a good selection of my work up, through Christmas. My solo show there this summer was a success and I am so happy to say that we will be teaming up for another solo show of my new work from Schoodic and Mount Desert Island, in June of 2017! The paintings for this show are completed and I am going to frame them this winter, while working on some new projects. I have just added a new Schoodic section to my website, too - some of these paintings are already sold and some are on hold for my solo show. More details about the show in the spring.
In the meantime, two of my paintings of Schoodic are in a wonderful group show curated by Carl Little, at the Northeast Harbor Library for the month of October. The show complements the new art book by Carl and David Little, Art of Acadia, from Down East Books, which I am thrilled to be included in. Here's the painting that's reproduced in the book - a painting I've been studying for several years in my studio, ever since making it:
Moonlight, Schoodic, Maine - oil/canvas, 18 x 18". (Photo credit Ken Woisard.) And here is one of my paintings from the Art of Acadia exhibit:
Two sea ducks, low tide, the view to Champlain and Cadillac, Mount Desert Island, from Schoodic, Maine - oil/panel, 12 x 9". It's an honor and a delight to be included in this show (and in the book! I mean, jumping for joy around here!), alongside artists Amy Pollien, Rob Pollien, Richard Estes, Philip Frey, Joellyn Duesberry, David Little, and many others.
And last but not least, I will have seven paintings in another group show that I'm very happy about - for the past decade I have been going to Islesboro for a week every September to paint with a group of friends at the house of artist Brita Holmquist. This year was the first time in ten years we haven't been able to get together, because of Brita's health. She is now on the mend, thank goodness, and we are celebrating and having a group show together, which opens at Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth, Maine, on November 17th (the opening is from 5-7 p.m.), and will be up through the first week of January 2017. Brita is having a solo show there right now, not to be missed!, and our group show will follow. Here's one of the paintings that I will be delivering to Elizabeth Moss in a few weeks, for this show:
8:00 a.m., East Penobscot Bay from Pendleton Point, Islesboro, Maine - oil/panel, 10 x 22". This is one of the paintings I made at last year's retreat on Islesboro. And here is the list of everyone who will be in our show, as far as I know right now - Brita Holmquist, Susan Van Campen, Nora Tryon, Sharon Townshend, Liz Moberg, Natasha Mayers, Wendy Garner, Jean Wyman, Louise Bourne, Anina Porter Fuller, Pamela Elias, Sondra Bogdonoff, Margaret Ryan, Nikki Schumann, and Judy LaBrasca. And myself - pinch me! It's going to be an incredible show. Last year at the retreat people were making amazing work.
That's all for now - except to say THANK YOU to friends, family, art collectors, and other supporters, who viewed, commented on, and/or bought my work this year! I appreciate it more than you will ever know!
This spring seems to be all about rebuilding, around here, and fresh starts. I'm getting a clean sweep in my attic painting studio, for one, which is dismantled right now because of various home construction projects (chimney work and a new roof). I can't wait until the work is finished so I can put everything back the way I like it, especially the easels I usually have set up to receive wet paintings when I bring them inside after making them outside! Right now, instead of that useful system, there are paintings strewn all over the rest of house, on pretty much any horizontal surface that has room and is above or beyond the reach of our cat Hodge. Tricky! Nevertheless, painting outside again with the return of the warm(ish) weather has been a great joy. After spending wintertime painting inside there is nothing to compare to the feeling of working right out in the middle of miles of open space once again. The cobwebs are gone in a moment and contentment is a rising tide.
Speaking of open space, I've got two paintings in a group exhibit at the L.C. Bates Museum at Hinckley, on Route 201 just outside of Fairfield, Maine. The exhibit is fortuitously entitled Open Spaces: Reimagining Pastoral Maine, and it opens this Friday evening, May 6, from 4-6 p.m. The show will run from May through early October. Directions and more information at the museum's website, here.
And, I'm so happy to say, my solo show at Landing Gallery in Rockland, Maine, is happening very soon: Postcards from Home, May 24 - June 26, with an opening during the first Friday art walk on June 3, from 5-8 p.m. I'm getting ready to deliver the paintings to the gallery - they are framed and ready to go and there are a lot of them! Around seventy paintings in all, mostly small but a few quite large. The gallery has a color catalogue to accompany the show, and I have copies too - they are five dollars each - to buy one please contact me or the gallery.
After my solo show I will be taking two painting trips, one to Bear Island and one to Great Spruce Head Island, in June and July respectively, and also plan to be painting around Frenchman's Bay and Schoodic for much of the summer. Then in September the group of artists I go on retreat with at Long Ledge on Islesboro will be meeting again. This will be our tenth year together, and Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth, Maine, will be showing a selection of our work in a Long Ledge exhibit in November. This will be a tremendous show - the other artists at this retreat have been making incredible work and I feel so lucky and blessed to be included both in this group and in this show. Dates and details to follow when the time comes.
And, as always, I welcome visitors to my home studio - or should I say, I will, when I reassemble it! Soon! Please call or email ahead to make sure I'm home. And, if you are out and about this season, and see a painter sitting down in the ledges at Schoodic, or on a remote beach in downeast Maine, look for an old gathering basket full of paint to see if it's me. I'd love to take a quick break and say hello. Best wishes for a peaceful spring and summer, filled with nature and art.
Islands off Sand Beach, Stonington, Maine - oil/panel. 5 x 7" - from my solo show Postcards from Home.
January thaw time. How I love it. I was out painting from my car, earlier this week. Temps were in the 40s and it sure was windy, but the car provides shelter. In fact I sit in it, to paint. With a wooden panel propped up on the steering wheel, my palette in the passenger seat, supplies in the back set within reach, and the window rolled down, I am good to go. Painting snow, and seeing the way it transforms the landscape, is quietly thrilling. I want to do more of it, but today I'm indoors, working on everything else in life.
And, truth be told, I have hardly been painting at all. Since returning from the residency at Schoodic I've been caught up in family matters, and am also preparing for my upcoming solo show, Postcards from Home, at Landing Gallery later this spring. All the paintings are finished. Most of the frames I need for them are on order, and I'm ready to attach the paintings to them, as soon as they arrive. Great winter work. I've also spent quite a bit of time selecting paintings for the booklet/catalogue. I'm really excited to be doing a booklet, and just made the final choices and had them professionally photographed. I have a mock-up (right now it's hovering around 24 pages). I'll order it from the printer soon. My first show catalogue! It feels like a such big deal, in my little world! I say that, since the paintings in it are all small, but I hope they represent the best of what's going to be in this show. One of my favorite things to (attempt to) paint, in the last few years, is a huge expanse of space, in a tiny painting. The postcard format, the rectangle, keeps calling me. 5 x 7" and 9 x 12" wooden panels are my favorite sizes. I will also have some large paintings in the show - the postcard format scaled up - but not many. More news and images later in the spring!
Speaking of spring - I know it's not even February yet, but I already have spring fever. I think that painting so intensively outside, so late into the fall, and then coming indoors so abruptly... well, it felt like a waterfall that dried up overnight. And so, I CANNOT WAIT to get back out there, back to work, and preferably back to Schoodic, as soon as possible. Not to pick up where I left off, in November, but to continue exploring there. The day before I packed up and came home, all I could see were the paintings I hadn't had time to make yet. Rocks and trees were whispering, "What about us?" and I promised I'd come back as soon as I could. I've been there once since then, on my birthday in December, a week before Christmas. It was freezing and gorgeous and as compelling as ever. I didn't get any painting done that day, but I did one quick sketch in pen, and took a good long look at everything.
Here's to an early spring! And one painting from the residency. It's not going to be in my upcoming show - I will be studying this one for a while, to see where it leads me: "8 a.m., Schoodic, Maine" - oil/canvas, 18 x 24".
Late last week I returned from my time as an artist-in-residence at Acadia National Park. For three weeks I lived in an apartment on the old U.S. Navy base, now the Schoodic Institute, within the easternmost part of the park at Schoodic Point. But mostly, I was not living in an apartment, I was living outside. The warm fall weather held. I was out there painting watercolors at dawn, and sunset found me attempting oil paintings as the last light of the day waned. I got up early one morning to see the full moon set over Cadillac Mountain, and I walked out at night many times, first to see the moonlight on the ocean, and then again when the moon waned, to sit on a granite ledge and gaze into the vast starfield overhead. During the days, I sat by the shore painting, hiked in the woods, wrote and sketched in my diary, and filled a watercolor album, all while encountering the spectacular landscape of this wild area, not to mention the wildlife living therein. Birds, living there and migrating through, mammals including deer, a porcupine I sketched, an otter family I was lucky enough to see twice, many snowshoe hares with their fur just changing from brown to white, and a coyote, who loped by me one day on her way into the woods - alert, intelligent, fully alive and completely at home in her environment, perfectly connected with her landscape. On my best days at Schoodic, I felt that way myself. I say on my best days, because they can't be all best days. I make room for all the emotions that might arise, not only joy, during the intense and introspective time of a a residency.
Here is how mine unfolded. Week one: general euphoria, an unlimited feeling of spaciousness and possibility, coupled with some rushing around, to try and paint everything I love most, all at once! At the end of week one the hurricane blew through, and the ocean was truly awesome. In fact it was overwhelming, and after attempting to paint the aftermath of the storm I had to retreat into the woods for the rest of the day, to move away from all that raw energy. Week two: the storm did pass, peacefulness returned, and with it a settling in, and still that broad feeling of time being suspended. The wall clock in my apartment didn't work and I didn't need it to, because the time was always now. I made major efforts on large canvases during the mornings, then lighter efforts on smaller canvases in the afternoons. I also took a few days to just work in watercolor, and hiked around with my sketchbook and supplies in a backpack, and stopped wherever I wanted to paint. Week three: nothing lasts, and the wheels start coming off the bus. The pace I was working at was difficult to sustain, and I missed home and my loved ones very much. I also realized that I would not have time to paint everything. I mean, I wanted to paint everything! (I still want to! It's all so good!) But instead I could only choose individual moments - this rock, this tree, this view. And what I was able to paint did not come all that close to the splendor of what I was actually seeing. Over time, this can be upsetting! However. I have made friends with failure and I am in love with trying. Often when beginning a canvas, I say to myself, quietly, Just try. And then I do. For me, it's the only way to move forward as a painter - one canvas at a time. Again, this can be frustrating! By the time week three was finished, I was very tired, and ready to pack my things - all my tries - and return home.
I have no images to share right now, of any of the 34 oil paintings I completed, simply because I haven't photographed them yet. They are unpacked and leaning up in my attic studio, though, and I run upstairs and look at them for a few minutes, then have to leave again. At their worst, they say to me, "All that, for this?" and at their best, they say to me, "All that, for this!" What a difference one punctuation mark makes! Many of them fall flat, in my eyes, but some of them also approach transcendence (again, in my eyes), and they make every attempt worthwhile. What a strange thing painting is - I can't think about it too much or I start to wonder why anybody ever does it in the first place. It echoes and describes pure feeling, pure emotion - in a word, love - in a way that nothing else seems to do. How? What a mystery it is.
Wonderful people at Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Institute hosted me at this residency, and left me alone for the most part, to paint the weeks away in happy solitude. I cannot thank them enough for this great gift. I returned to the home of my youth, went back to the land in the ways that suited me best, learned a lot about myself and my place in that landscape, and will be unraveling and examining the skeins of this amazing experience over the coming months and years. And, needless to say, I'll be returning to paint at Schoodic again, whenever I can. There is more work to be done there, by me, and I can't wait to do it.
It's October already! This year has been almost unbelievable, on so many levels. A few highlights: the solo show of my work at Landing Gallery in Rockland this summer very nearly sold out, and the weather has been consistently amazing for outdoor painting, so I've been out there as much as possible. I experienced immersive, productive painting retreats - ten days on Bear Island in June, and a week on Islesboro in September - and soon I will be heading off to the Schoodic peninsula for a residency at Acadia National Park. This week I've been sanding and gessoing panels and preparing to stretch canvases of all sizes to be ready for whatever I encounter there, from quick small sketches to larger more developed paintings. I also want to do some drawing, and perhaps watercolors too. I think with all the stuff I'll be bringing along I could open a small art supply shop for the duration of the residency.
In other news, I will have work in two upcoming shows and wanted to share the details. First, from October 3rd through November 30th, six paintings of mine will be at our great library here in town, the Stockton Springs Community Library, alongside paintings from six other local artists. Some of the paintings are very close to home, like this one, painted while looking out the living room window at the neighbor's house across the street:
This was a freezing snowy January day, but there was warm light on the south side of the house and it all felt very glowy against the blue shadows - the painting is 12 x 18", oil on canvas. I wanted to be outside painting, truly, but here in Maine in the middle of winter, well, we do what we can do!
The second show I'll have work in this fall will be at Landing Gallery in Rockland again, from mid-November through the holidays. Five or six gallery artists, including me, will be showing around ten paintings each, all still life. I'm excited about the opportunity to exhibit some of my other work besides the miles-wide landscapes that are my current preoccupation. I've written here before about how still life was my first painting love, when I learned to paint in college and for years after that, and I return to still life painting a few times a year, even now. It's all about the close looking, really, and love of form, attempts at description, and compositional choices. And of course color, and the paint itself - all of it! Most of the paintings I'm taking to Rockland are quite small - flowers in a vase, tomatoes on a plate - but this one is a bit larger:
A pail of delphiniums - oil on canvas, 18 x 18" - in a corner of our dining room. The delphiniums had all blown over in a high wind and I brought them inside. They asked to be painted until I finally gave in and said Okay, okay! and set up my easel in the dining room. For a few days. The other members of the household (husband, cat) approved and were generally patient and understanding. Here's a close-up of the pail:
I can't even say what a pleasure it was to paint this metal pail. I kept adding stripes of color to it as the rest of the painting developed, and by the time I was finished with everything else, the pail was finished too. When I was first drawing and painting in college art classes, highly reflective surfaces were among my true loves, so returning to this theme in paint felt great. Should I have put my own reflection in there, I wonder? Lots of painters do, but to me the painting already feels like something of a self-portrait (as do all paintings, it seems - I mean, painters can't help it - you paint, and there you are! which can be both a blessing and a curse), so I didn't need to be any more descriptive than I wanted to be at that particular moment.
The framed painting in the background isn't one of mine, by the way - it was painted a few decades ago by a dear friend. It was a great exercise, painting a smaller simplified version of her painting, and makes me want to go to museums to set up my easel and paint versions of some of my favorite paintings by other people. I've always read that there's no better way to learn from the masters, and I have done some quick sketches before, in pencil or pen. But, that will have to wait for the time being. I've got enough on my plate for the upcoming months, and besides, I'll be outside, learning from that other great master - nature.
In conclusion, some words of thanks. The interest in my paintings over the last year has been such a blessing, and helps lift me up and out the door, with blank canvases in hand. So, THANK YOU. It means the world to me to be able to continue to do what I most love to do.
This is one of the paintings from "Horizons" - my upcoming solo show at Landing Gallery in Rockland, Maine. The show will have over fifty paintings of mine, mostly small works painted outside while taking the long view, so to speak. Landing Gallery has recently moved, and the new address is right in the center of town at 409 Main Street. The painting above (Islands east of Pigeon Hill, Steuben, Maine - oil/panel, 12” x 16”, $500) and several others are already on their website as a preview for the show - please take a look here. The show opens during the First Friday art walk on June 5th, and runs through August 2nd.
Then later in the summer, from August 14th - 19th, I will have around fifteen paintings in the "Maine Icons" group show at the Islesboro Historical Society. The society has a great summer schedule of exhibits that change weekly and I'm very happy to be included again this year.
And, right now, through October, I have one painting in a curated exhibit entitled "Artists on Site" at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton, Connecticut. The paintings in the show are all from past artists-in-residence at Weir Farm, of which I am one.
Please contact me for more information about any of these exhibits, or to arrange a time to visit my painting studio. Warmer weather finds me out painting now, but I am never far from home. Thanks so much, and have a wonderful summer!
There is painting, and there is not-painting. When painters aren't painting, what are they doing? For me, at least, I will say that I am thinking about painting, planning to paint, wondering why I'm not painting, reading about other painters, and assessing my own paintings. I also stretch and gesso canvases, frame paintings, clean my studio, plan future shows, make wish lists involving everything from luxurious art supplies to far-flung painting locations, and, you know, do everything else that needs to be done in daily life. And every winter I go through some fallow time, when it's too cold to work outside and I just can't seem to get anything going in my studio. For the past several years I've learned to not worry about these quiet weeks and, in fact, have put them to work for me in other ways. I apply for juried shows, to help me reach beyond Maine into the greater art world. I apply for a residency or a grant, again to reach outside my usual self-imposed boundaries. I am not usually awarded any of these things, but the application process itself is extremely valuable. Having to write an application essay and a work plan gets me focused on what I want to do, how I want to do it, and why I'm doing it. So even if I'm not accepted, I know where I'm headed next, in my work. The inevitable rejections are also useful. They strengthen my resolve.
But I'm not always rejected - I've been fortunate to attend a few residencies over the years, and I've just found out about another acceptance. In the late fall of 2015 I'll be an artist-in-residence at Acadia National Park. I'll be staying on the Schoodic Peninsula for a few weeks, painting my heart out. I cannot wait. Schoodic has been an amazing place to paint over the past year or two, and to be able to go there and stay on site and deepen my engagement with the landscape is a dream come true. My time there will also be a homecoming of sorts, since I was born on the edge of Acadia, in Bar Harbor, and grew up in nearby Addison. In fact this is one of the major reasons I want to paint there: it's my home landscape - bleak and beautiful - and I love it with all my heart.
In other news, I am preparing for a solo show in Rockland and a group show on Islesboro, but I don't have the details of time and place yet. I will share them when I do. Meanwhile, spring has finally arrived here in midcoast Maine and as soon as the rain stops I'll be setting out to revisit some of my favorite painting places - those few locations that always feel like pure gold when I get there and start looking, and keep looking, and try to describe what I'm feeling, with paint. Right now these are places with long views out to open ocean, wide horizons, and miles of space. After being housebound for much of the long snowy winter, this will be the proverbial breath of fresh air. Happy spring, friends.
Since I've moved indoors for the winter, painting-wise, I thought I'd share some work-in-progress photographs of a recent studio painting.
For a long time I always started a painting with the darkest of darks, and then often struggled to keep my lighter colors clean as I worked around the darks I'd already laid in. In the past year or two I've loosened up a bit from my usual routine and now often begin to paint with the lightest colors first. Which, in much of my recent work, show the most ephemeral and fleeting aspect of the landscape at hand, so it's a good thing to indicate on canvas immediately, since it will change very quickly. Light on the water and cloud forms in particular, but also simply color.
This week I started a painting of the view down the hill from our house, from the dormer window in my attic studio. I've painted many variations of this view and it always feels new, because of those ephemeral elements. In this particular painting, I was anxious about being able to portray the colors of that day's sunrise, so I began with them:
I paint on white gesso to which I've added a bit of black acrylic paint. This gives me a warm neutral gray to begin with. So the only paint you see here is the pink-peach-orange I've mixed and laid in, roughly around where the clouds and landforms are going to go. Often when I paint I begin with the thing I'm fearful about - just get right to it and tackle the hard thing first - then if the painting feels good from the start the rest flows easily (on good days). Once I mixed the sky colors and painted them in, I worked on the clouds:
The gray oil paint is darker and a bit warmer than the gray of the gesso. This is an 18 x 24" canvas, on the easel I've had since I was an undergraduate art student. One of my favorite sizes to paint on, and my favorite easel too. Still working from light to dark, I put in the far horizons next:
I love trying to figure out what color those subtle blues are. In the early morning they are soft and dark. But the landforms in the foreground are almost black, and I want them to be really dark so they will anchor the painting and keep it from feeling too soft and floating away. This is Fort Point, in the lower middle, and in the lower right corner, part of Cape Jellison here in Stockton Springs:
My underpainting is done with burnt sienna. Even if I'm going to cover almost all of it up eventually, it still gives those rich hints of deep earthy red that are so apparent in the landscape. More darks next - almost finished:
As I try to bring this painting to completion I start looking around for any little thing that's bugging me, and I make tiny adjustments accordingly. Often these sniglets are nearly invisible, but to me they mean the difference between a painting that's resolved and one that isn't. In this case I finished getting some really dark darks into the lower right corner, almost blue-black, and I made some corrections to the shorelines, and added some gray to the water in the foreground, to bring some of the cloud color down into the rest of the painting:
Done. Dawn view to Fort Point, Stockton Springs, Maine. Here is a tidier, cropped version of the finished painting:
And one more photo, of my palette halfway through - delicious beautiful paint, I love it so:
On the palette was titanium white, cadmium yellow medium, burnt sienna, quinacridone red, ultramarine blue, payne's gray, and mars black. I almost never use black straight from the tube - in fact for years it was never on my palette at all - but lately I've really liked the soft gray it makes when mixed with white and a bit of something else, so here it is.
Plein air painting in the warmth and comfort of my own studio - the best of both worlds. Thanks for reading.
Painter, reader, writer, bookseller, generally