Thursday, April 27, 2017

“Fresh off the Easel” (first post for 2017)

“Quiet morning at the dock” 24 x 36 oil on linen
     We visit Maine each summer because of its beauty and to escape the heat of the south!  I spend time checking out and painting old weathered docks and buildings in parts of Maine, like Old Port….a section of Portland, Me.  The coast is a big attraction to me for subjects to paint.  If not for the winters, we would probably be there year round.
     The inspiration for this “Untitled Dock Painting” was not just one thing in particular.  It was several things.  I was trying to capture that sort of grey day atmospheric feel, (most of my landscapes are sunny day paintings).  The variety of textures on the dock…from the smooth, large and small, buoys hanging on the rail of the weathered dock and the suggested reflection opportunities in the water.  I also liked, in this particular case, the seeming lack of life presence…no birds, human or other!   That is not usually the case….I certainly would not want to paint this scenario each time.  But, in this case it was a nice change of pace for me and a nice challenge!  The viewer could certainly insert their own narrative to any meaning this painting might have! 
“Ignore her, maybe she’ll go away”, 24x36, oil
     I spent an enjoyable cold morning at Sandy Acres Ranch recently doing a mini workshop with the Peace River Painters.  We were not painting the animals on this particular day…..but, I got a ton of great photo reference of the corralled farm animals!  This goat seemed to be running the show/showing off, etc.  I was struck by the expression on the donkey’s faces… if they were thinking to themselves, “stop it”….trying to ignore her by not looking directly at her.  That probably was not it at all…. but, it was the narrative I went with!
“Fog Rolling in on the Cliff Walk”, 16x20, oil on linen
     This is a common scene on the coast of Maine….fog rolling into rocky cliffs or beaches!  This is another painting from a favorite spot I visit each summer….Fort Williams, near the light house! 
“The Garden Groomers”, 18x24, oil on linen
    This composition is loosely based on a bed and breakfast we stayed in a few years back.  We were there for a class reunion in my home town.  It wasn’t a painting trip, but, I took photo reference around the property and ended up doing a couple of paintings.  The chickens and rooster are added….I wasn’t sure whether or not that would work!  It was an excuse to introduce a splash of color to all that green vegetation!  The title was a suggestion from a friend on face book that I was given permission to use….and, I like it a lot!  I would never have thought of that!
“View from the Cliff Walk” 15x26 oil on linen
      This is a studio painting inspired by a location study of a place I particularly like to visit and paint each summer in Maine.  I actually painted this a couple of years ago and recently reworked an touched it up a bit.  Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth near South Portland has a wealth of interesting coastal material to paint.  It keeps me coming back each year….and, each year it is the same…. but, somehow different.  This view is high up on the Cliff overlooking the cold Atlantic!  I have walked this many times…and, to my mind, this speaks volumes about the rocky coastal terrain that is so much fun to try and interpret in paint!

I will try to do better about posting on this blog.....I get busy and forget sometimes....hope you forgive me.....and thanks again for listening to my Ramblings!