Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Last week I picked up this half-finished sketch of Gabrielle's beaver pond which has been sitting on a ledge in my studio since last June when I gave her a private landscape class. For our first lesson we agreed to meet at 6:00 AM at her place to paint. Gabrielle lives in a beautiful valley here in Vermont; just below the house there is a big beaver dam and pond. On that first morning I painted for about 45 minutes and then gave her a lesson. It was the first time I had painted outdoors in a few years and I was pleased that the painting was not a complete mess but when I got it home I saw it was thin and a bit tentative. Still, there was something I liked about it. I stuck it on a shelf and there it sat until last week.

After working on the sketch for a day in the studio I am much more pleased with the piece though it is still unfinished. At the end of the day Tom came into the studio and said "How did you do that?" "Do what?", I asked, "Put light in it" he replied.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Still working on this one; actually this photo is from last month when I pulled the piece out and worked on it for a day. The good news is I think I saved it and will be able to make a decent painting.

As readers of this blog know, I have a difficult relationship with this painting. I am attracted to it; there is something big in this image. When I am massing in the circles of motion, light, and color I see it, I feel it, I grasp it; I'm going to heaven and Van Dyke is of the company. Then I try to bring my prize to the surface, to make the vision manifest itself in the rendering of light filtering through leaves onto the forest floor - and it slips off the hook and is gone, leaving me with a pile of meaningless brush strokes.

I keep trying though.