Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Keene Valley Fire Truck

On a cold/white/grey day I felt the need for a burst of color. So I painted this image from the Summer. This antique fire truck appears all around Keene Valley as the days pass. I found it one August morning sitting on the front lawn of the Roostercomb Inn, a new inn filled with beautiful rustic furniture made by the the owner.
I love how the light reflects off the surface of the almost pure cadmium red of the fire truck and contrasts with the green grass.
I had done a small painting of some kayaks on the porch of this house a couple of years ago(older post) but the house was yellow back then. The truck is also in an earlier painting (Sentinel).
10x10in. oil on birch

On Chapel Pond

These two girls were sitting on the edge of Chapel pond when I was out painting one morning last summer. I don't have any figures in my landscapes (too many hated life drawing classes, I think) but when I saw these two with the light playing off the water behind them I couldn't resist.The vantage point is unique there because you have to decend down a steep rocky hill to get to the water so you are looking down at the water's edge. Chapel Pond is a beautiful and restful spot on a hot summers day. Just the thing to keep my mind off the storm raging outside.
10x10in oil on birch panel

White Barn

About a mile from my house in Bel Air is this white barn. When the sun rises the white pines behind me cast these great blue shadows. I painted it at sunset before in an older post.
10x10in. oil on birch panel

Dr. Leach's Cottage

During the Feb.blizzard here in Maryland I thought I would keep warm by revisiting some images from the Summer.
Dr. Leach lived next door to my grandfather's cottage on Thorsby Hill in Sherwood Forest MD. overlooking the Severn River. It was one of the original farmhouses saved when Sherwood was planned in the '20's. The big tree on the right was planted by me from a seedling when I was a boy.
9x12in. oil

Monday, February 8, 2010

Stone Beach- Monhegan

I was going through some old sketchbooks and I found this little sketch that I realize now was the catalyst for my interest in painting rocks and cairns. One Summer in the late '90's my wife and I took the ferry over to Monhegan I. off the coast of Maine. I wanted to walk and paint in the footsteps of Kent,Bellows, Hopper, Wyeth and others in painting this beautiful Island.
We hiked all over the island and I was completely overwhelmed. The scenery was magnificent but nothing I did worked. I was still new to plein air .There was just too much to take in. The shapes just fell apart and whatever I did just seemed like bad calendar art. The temp was in the 90's and I had had it. We found ourselves on the west side of the island at the end of the day on a rock beach. I had put away my materials and just sat and admired the view.
After awhile I began to notice how the rocks fit together and I thought"what if I begin a drawing with ONE rock, not by taking in the whole scene." A drawing teacher I once had used to describe his drawings as "knitting", one stitch at a time. What would happen if I proceeded one rock at a time?
I began with the one small stone at the very bottom of the paper. I then drew the next one touching it, then the next and the next with no thought of outcome and composition and I actually started to feel pleasure in the act of drawing. The day went away. The scenery went away and I was totally into the moment. 9.5x7in. ink and watercolor