Monday, August 19, 2013
On my easel - "Sakonnet Boats"
I spent a fabulous recent afternoon with my good friend Kelley MacDonald in Rhode Island. We meandered down along the Sakonnet River past beautiful farms rolling down to the water, fields of hay bales, cows, lovely antique homes, intriguing shops and intersections. She and I painted at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, the southernmost spot on this gorgeous Rhode Island peninsula.
I painted over an old painting start, which I do on occasion. The shapes below the new painting are interesting, and much like a jigsaw puzzle, I enjoy watching the forms emerge gradually.
Painting on location is about managing the moving target in front of you, whether changing shadows, crashing waves, pedestrians meandering along the sidewalk, or boats turning on their moorings and sometimes motoring out of your view altogether... such a blast. Sakonnet Point Harbor has a lot going on for a small place. I designed the painting to lead the viewer's eye from the bottom up and through the harbor, out between the jetties to the distance, hard to visualize in this early stage but that's my plan.
While I was searching for an image or two of Sakonnet Point so you'd have an idea where we were (see the big red arrow on the right), I came across this beautiful painting by Worthington Whittredge, second generation of Hudson School artists. Kelley and I drove along this exact topography, narrow passage (now paved) with the river on one side and quiet ponds on the other. I wonder if Whittredge heard similar sounds of lapping waves, gulls calling and children laughing as he painted.
I'll post the finished painting shortly. As always, thanks for looking. Comments welcome - I love to hear from you.