Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Favorite Path" oil 12 x 12

If you read my blog, you have heard me expound on the beauty of Monhegan Island, and its small neighbor island Manana.  I have painted Manana through windows, over rooftops, behind visitors, behind children, from above, and from a variety of other vantage points. (You can click on any of the highlighted phrases above to see other views of Manana on my blog).  Here is another of my favorite views.  Just past the church on Monhegan is a small path that winds its away along the shore.  Manana is visible through these lovely pines, and the contrast in the greens from the trees and the island just across the harbor makes a beautiful and subtle juxtaposition.  This week promises to be cloudy, lots of new opportunity for views of Manana in all its personalities.   

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Sailing Center" side-by-side 16 x 12 oil

"Sailing Center" finished                                  "Sailing Center" not quite finished
Yesterday I posted my painting of the Cohasset Sailing Center from our North Meets South Paint Out.  As with most of my paintings, I place them in my studio where I can look at them in passing to see where I may need to make adjustments.   I thought a side by side comparison of the painting I brought back from on site, and the finished painting would be useful. See the finished painting on its own below.
My process is that I do NOT use a photograph to finish the painting.  All the information I need is in already on the canvas, and in my head.  I review each edge and each plane, looking for inconsistencies, any unintentional geometry, confusion, notes that don't ring true, color temperature and freshness. 
Above, the finished painting is on the left.  I looked at every upturned plane to make sure it was cooler than all down-turned planes.  I added the harbor through the windows.  When we left the painting site, I had included some notes about the value through the windows for reference.  I refined, slightly, the large brackets beneath the roof.  I vibrated cool into some of the sky-facing planes, added some interest and warmth to the inside of the building.  I softened some edges, cleaned up some small perspective issues, and even moved my signature. 
What do you think?  Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Sailing Center" oil 16 x 12

 The Cohasset Sailing center was one of several venues populated by artists from north and south of Boston as  the North Shore Arts Association artists journeyed down to meet a number of our South Shore Artists, a sequel to last summer's get together when South traveled to the North.  The air was sparkling, breeze blowing, harbor filled with activity, while shoreline filled with artists. I was struck by the cupola on the Sailing Center against the bluest of blue skies, and decided to paint through the building to the harbor beyond.  It was an interesting brain-bender, and loads of fun. I painted over an old still life, and loved the variety of colors underneath as my painting emerged.

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Last Light" 8 x 6 soft pastel

"Last Light"  start

I am experimenting with soft pastels.  For "Last Light", I created a ground on canvas with gouache straight from the tube using a combination of ultramarine, burnt sienna and viridian.  The ground formed is matte, and toothy, which I like.  I built up the lights, leaving some of the ground showing in the darkest darks.  Interesting effect, and completely counter-intuitive for me thinking about how to lay color next to other color, rather than using my limited palette of oils or watercolors to make the color I am looking for. 

Thanks for looking.. we'll see what happens next.

Friday, July 08, 2016

"Overlook" oil 8 x 8

Another glorious week on Monhegan Island.  This has been an interesting week, as they always are.  We have had dinner with old friends and new, unexpectedly bumped into coworkers and introduced them to the island, attended a music fest at the local brewery, a drop in open mic night, a drop in sketch group, and a wonderful performance by Voices from the Heart, a choral group from Portsmouth NH, a subset of whom have been spending the week here in preparation for last night's concert. The sun was out and the air sparkling for the first few days, yesterday cold, foggy, gray, and today is a mix.  It's New England and I love it.

I painted on a little patch of grass outside the Monhegan church this week, had a chance to talk to some children about my painting process, and was serenaded by the energetic daily rehearsal of the chorus just yards away.  Magnificent.
While our country is in an uproar, with violence begetting more violence, we are finding room to pause, reflect, to treat one another with the understanding that we are sharing a space.  There are responsibilities that come with that sharing.
Here is a link to Voices from the Heart on a trip to Croatia where they sang to raise money for the clearing of land mines remaining after conflict there. Make the world a better place for your being there.

Friday, July 01, 2016

"Clouds Over Manana" watercolor & ink 9 x 12

Our favorite summer spot produces beautiful summer skies.   We are able to watch the weather approach from the mainland 12 miles distant.  We see so much variety in our time there; bucolic clouds float by a la N.C. Wyeth, miles of crystal blue sky with a 270 degree vista, distant thunderclouds with distant rumblings and grumblings, and powerful fronts racing across the water which often split or shoot straight up when they hit the warmth of this little gem in the ocean. The Girls Just Wanna Paint theme for June is "Summer Skies".  See all our images here.

There's a great book by Alan J. Faller, longtime Monhegan resident, and meteorologist, which explains the special qualities of the weather on this special island.  

Heading back this summer... can't wait!