Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I spent the last ten days or so on location in my back yard painting this scene. It's of the door that goes into my root cellar. The tree shadow is from the same big old maple I painted in Mid-Winter Maple.
I must admit, I do enjoy going around and portraying rather commonplace things. I'll save the gorgeous nude women lounging on Victorian sofas for others-- give me a grungy old door, or some big gnarly tree and I'm in heaven.
While I painted the majority of this outside, it can't really be called a true plein air. I drew the proportions of this scene from life, because I know how photos can really screw up the perspective-- especially from close distance. But then I went into the studio and worked on it as I would a regular studio painting; I did all the underpainting and preparation before I went back outside to capture the real colors. I would have liked to have done it all outside, but it was freaking freezing out! And we had a ten inch snow storm in the middle of this project that I had to wait melt. (Ah... Spring in Maine!) All in all, it took about three outdoor sessions to finish.
Another thing. This part of my yard acts like a wind tunnel. Cold Canadian air came whistling over the hedge and blew me around all morning. I had to paint with one hand on the panel to hold it down. I had an umbrella to block the sun, but it acted like a para-sail and tried to take the easel for a ride. By the way (which is what BTW looks like spelled out...) that is not a plein air easel I'm using, but my regular easel and palette stand. I brought them out from my studio so I would feel more at home. I wouldn't do that if I was standing on some rocky promontory on the coast. You kidding? I'd be laughed at and chased away by all the other plein air types with their little pochade boxes. But anyway, I gave up after awhile and retreated to the cold, but windless garage.
So there you have it. Another view from around the house. You have to admit, it beats driving all over creation looking for subjects when gas is four bucks a gallon!