Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back to Monhegan Island

 I am back on Monhegan Island, Maine this week, excited about the opportunities to paint, especially to paint my favorite subject here, Manana.  So far, Manana hasn't shown itself through fog, except for a few minutes last night.... I'm looking at fog's colors, yellow, pink, orange, and recalling many trips to London where the weather soundbite was often, "It's brightening!".. it's brightening here, off and on. I'm enjoying the variety of views... boats appear and disappear, the ferry's rumble arrives way before the ferry shows itself just yards before the dock, seagull silhouettes along foggy roof lines... what an interesting week it will be.  Here are a few of my past paintings of Manana.  Posting new ones soon!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Caleb Creek - Waquoit" oil

I spent THE MOST LOVELY afternoon down on the Cape in Waquoit, a village of Falmouth.  Went to visit my friend Nell, at her wonderful home a short walk from Waquoit Bay.  It was a HOT day north of the bridge, but breezy and not-quite-as-hot on the bay.  We had lunch, talked about life, and I walked down to the creek to paint.  I met Goose, the wonder dog, Bandit, Alto and AJ, saw a big snake (twice), and painted to the backdrop of a busy, windy bay.  Ahhh.

I condensed the "marshscape" to fit some points of interest on both sides. Here are a couple of photos of the painting in progress.
The blue boxes:
What are those blue boxes in the marsh?  
The blue boxes, officially called Manitoba Flycatchers, are located in the marsh and attempt to capture greenhead flies.  There is nothing inside of the boxes, it is the blue color which attracts the flies. 

The boxes have become part of the Cape landscape to me..  I guess we have to thank the greenheads for not finding fluorescent orange to be their favorite color.  

Wonderful day, I'm heading back there soon.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Hurricanes Hardly Happen" oil 10 x 10 ... and Eliza Doolittle

As you may have read, one of my favorite painting subjects is Manana, the small, relatively uninhabited island adjacent to Monhegan which creates its sheltered harbor.  (Someday, in my posts, I'll just say "Manana" without the explanation as though it's a component of everyone's vernacular as it is mine.) Each summer, I paint Manana from a few different vantage points, and am always excited by a new view.  "Hurricanes Hardly Happen" is my second painting of this view, commissioned by a friend who loved the original painting, "Hurricane Watch".
I wrangled with the name a bit... same subject, slightly different take, don't want to name it "Hurricane Watch II", "Hurricane Watch Jr", "Hurricane Watch Le Deux", etc.  Then, I heard Eliza Doolittle's voice in my head from "My Fair Lady" and knew the painting's name.  Don't you love "My Fair Lady"?   Click the link below to see a few seconds of its genius:

Eliza and Henry "Hurricanes Hardly..."

Heading back to Monhegan next week!  As always, thanks for looking and feel free to share. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"White House" tweaking the image

April's Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge was "white".  I submitted the painting "White House", (to the right) a charming bungalow in a Quincy neighborhood, which I painted from the car while the late afternoon life in the small neighborhood unfolded.  There were joggers, and children on bikes, and commuters walking the few blocks from the bus, and at least two pizza deliveries, and dog walkers, and after-work gardeners.  It was charming. However, the painting needed some tweaking once I got it home.

Shown to the left are the original and then the tweaked painting.  The original painting was too cool, and wasn't conveying the late afternoon light.  The tree was too heavy and its branches stopped arbitrarily along the roof edge, creating unintended geometry.   I spent 20 minutes making a few modifications, simplifying the tree, extending its branches beyond the roof, softening the tree shadow, and warming the sunlit pieces of the house including the brick foundation.  I added some blue to the roof above the porch and added a warm indication of a window or door under the porch, made a few of the houses edges more crisp, and squared off.  Finished.  It reads better, conveys more of a sense of time of day.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, June 07, 2013

"Cool Fair" working title 12 x 12 oil

Every Memorial Day weekend, our local art association, North River Arts Society, hosts its Art Festival - this year was the 37th annual.  I paint on the street for both days, chatting with visitors.  It's great fun.  

This year, Sunday afternoon, our neighbors stopped by my easel.  Their 9-year-old daughter stepped right up to my easel and asked me if I painted the people right in front of me.  Interesting question.  I asked her if she'd like to help me with my painting.  Her parents and brothers were behind her shaking their heads; I guess afraid she'd do
 something terrible and unfixable.  No problem.  She was brave and game and stepped right up.  

First I asked her to fix the balloons, making some color more intense.  Then I asked her to add a figure on the right side, any color but blue.  She chose purple, and dove right in.  (BTW, no surprise with the purple, as she was wearing purple sweatshirt and Converse).  

She was wonderful, great listener, even held her paint brush like a pro. We had such a nice time together, and she reminded me why I love teaching so much... with her little intrepid-on-tiptoes self.   She and I are going to name the painting together.  "Cool Fair" is a working title.  I played around with the painting a little bit after it came home, but everything that she
touched is just as she left it..    
What a great day.  

Ideas for a title?  

Thanks for looking.