June 20, 2009

Updating Stotesbury painting

I'm back into a painting I started in mid-May. The hardest thing is getting the rowers in the right position, oars on the correct sides. When I did the painting, the boat was a blur as it went by and there were oars, reflections, colors merged together. As much as I want the work to show what it was like in that moment, the painting was done as a commission and I need to fulfill the expectation that a few details will show the team, the athetes. Now that I've put in those dashes of paint, I need to work on the whole -- finding the rhythm of the paint. The composition, as it stands now, has a strong diagonal feel with the rooftop seen above the bridge (I think it's at the Philadelphia Zoo) pulls you toward it. I may switch things around and see if I can alter the experience a bit.

June 10, 2009

Agricultural History

Out in Derwood, Md., this morning at a farm that's been turned into an Agricultural History Center.

June 8, 2009

View of a Parking Lot

The view in every other direction included a stream, rocks, trees, a bridge... and the jockeying of artists for a "good" spot left me with a view of the parking lot.  Walt Bartman has passed along the advice (I don't know who said it first -- Charles Hawthorne?) that you should pick the pretty scene you want to paint and then turn around and paint what's behind you instead.  So, I was facing a parking lot.

The low horizon was a big departure for me, as was filling most of the canvas with the sky.  I had initially painted the cars in a bit more detail, not a lot, but ended up with just the suggestion that they were there.

June 2, 2009

What Lies Beyond

Yes, this is the same painting I was working on in the last post.  Why the dramatic change?  I was uninspired by the first result, which was a pretty literal look at the scene.  I don't have a need to work that tired approach into the ground, so I decided to force the issue of focus -- what you are really looking at -- by silhouetting the front house and trees and pushing the painting toward the spot of yellow that I'd always wanted to be the focal point.  As a thought process and a concept, I'm happier with the outcome.   Not sure, though, that I'm where I want to be in terms of turning the concept into a visual experience.