Saturday, August 31, 2013

Plein Air Day 2

It's been a very busy week. Three paintings in four days, I did choose smaller sizes to make it a bit easier to manage. Again, all I can say is the spontaneity and immediacy of the images were amazing. I enjoyed the fact that the image was so close to the actual inspiration. This first image is of the Big A cemetery in Rowlett-it's behind a Target and all I can say is that the peaceful presence takes you out of the busy roads of Rowlett.

I wanted to capture two things, first of all, the age-I went back where the oldest stones were. I wanted the viewer to be able to see into the distance freely and yet still not be able to focus on any one place-the perspective is across the right side and again behind the initial stones, I want the viewer to stop for a moment and feel a bit of that chill of an unseen presence and yet also realize a divine light that glistens among the old stones.

The next sketch was of a Koi Pond in a nearby residence, we had permission to paint it but I must admit I still felt like I was trespassing. I actually plan on enlarging this image as the initial image was focusing on the bird of paradise plants in the foreground but concentrating on dragonflies that buzzed around the pool and landed on the plants in the foreground, the size of this painting is quite small and although intimate the dragonflies would have been distracting to the overall effect. I do plan on expanding on this image though and will post the image as I finish.

The final painting was of a landscape I am quite familiar with, Lake Ray Hubbard and more specifically Paddle Point-this is another painting that changed from its initial direction. Originally I wanted to focus on the ducks and egrets in the foreground. I created this image with lots of darks in the foreground and the sky and felt although it made the like shine it didn't accurately capture the feeling of water and the look of the sky. I overlayed lighter blues over the darks and made the water look more like water, in the end the ducks seemed to be more of a distraction. It's funny how you lose your point of interest sometimes, something is working and you just go with it, it is not until you fully study it again before you realize it was all wrong. I am now continually questioning my initial thought on a particular piece and reassessing during the process instead of afterward.

The show will be at the Rowlett Library on Main Street in Rowlett, Texas-an awards ceremony will be held on Thursday September 5th and the pieces will stay on display for a week I believe. I am excited about working more plein air in the near future and already planning my next images. I didn't realize these images were so close to my home.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Plein Air Day One

I joined an art contest with the Artist Round of Rowlett-paint Rowlett. The contest has an element of painting on the scene and I don't think I have ever enjoyed the experience as much. I have made sketches, painted basic shapes and colors and with photography I will continue in the studio perfecting the images. The exciting thing about the process is how fast and immediate the image and expression is.

Continuing on the recent change in the way I work compositions- I have never been more clear and focused on the finished product. I have started three paintings and they are all so on the spot that I feel I have captured the initial feeling that attracted me to the scene. I also figured out very quickly what in each scene I was going to focus on in capturing or saying something specific in each scene.

The first image is of a cemetery, it's the first time I actually painted a cemetery which is odd because the peaceful and yet surreal feeling of being alone in a cemetery would lend itself to some of the images I paint. In this scene I concentrated on a shaft of light that back lit the stones and lit up the trees around the cemetery. I want the viewer to be able to look into infinity beyond the stones, almost a statement of the feeling of eternity. I want the viewer to get lost in the light and shadows of the trees allowing them to concentrate on the elements that surround the stones and perhaps get that peaceful yet haunted feeling I get when walking in a cemetery.

The next image I was very excited about because it is a Koi pond and I was hoping to capture the feeling of the cold depths of the pond but instead a certain bird of paradise plant and a gathering of dragonflies created the scene. The scene will actually be a portrait of the plant with the light and shadows of the Koi pond in the background-a bridge brings you into the distance but the image is becoming more intimate. I want the viewer to feel as if they are sitting by a pond in the late afternoon without the mosquitoes and high humidity.

The final image is more in line with my normal images with a twist. I captured an image of Paddle Point on Miller Road-Again my first instinct was just the water but after seeing how the light created the scene, i decided the water would be more of a backdrop to the intense light that was dancing on the water and made the surface look like diamonds. I intend on adding ducks and some egrets as they were all around but they will add to the feeling of depth and give the lake a bit of space and time.

I am excited about the under paintings and will show the finals as they get more progressed.
Have you ever painted outdoors and how did it change the way you painted? Were you overwhelmed by the details or inspired by the spontaneity?