Tuesday, November 13, 2012
After spending an inordinate amount of time this year laboriously working with the glazing painting technique I use on slick masonite panels, I thought it would be great fun to break out the big brushes, palette knife and rough canvas, and have at it. So what did I just do?
My usual thing on masonite panel.
I can't help myself, I guess.
But I thought it might be mildly interesting to relate how this particular painting came about. Maybe a 3 on the interest scale of 1 to 100, but mildy interesting, none-the-less.
Every once in a while I take my lunch on lovely summer days in the shade of a big ol' maple tree in my back yard. We built a stone patio around its base, and there's almost always a pleasant breeze gently wafting through, and it's just a nice place to take a break away from the heat of my studio. But no matter how interesting the book I brought to read with my lunch (yodels and ring-dings) is, I almost always wind up staring into the leaves above me and enjoy the color play of light as it shines through the verdant canopy and illuminates the branches. It always makes me think of one of the great landscape painters of the 19th century, William Trost Richards, and more explicitly, this painting:
You know how it is. We painters see something interesting to us and we say, "Someday, I'm going to paint that." That's how it was with this painting, and my maple tree.
Now, I'll send you back in time to Memorial Day of this year, when I was wandering around the Boothbay, Maine Botanical Gardens in search of a painting. I wrote about it in this blog post. Before I eventually found a site I wanted to paint plein air, I did some sketches of other spots. One sketch I did was this one of a boulder sitting all alone in the woods:
It is exactly that: a sketch. It's also a little incomplete looking because the bugs were eating me alive as I had both hands occupied in doing it.
So as I was pondering the ever-present question of What To Paint? a couple of weeks ago, and rummaging through my sketch book, my mind combined all of the elements I mentioned above. The tree. The old painting. Summer. Lunch. Ring-Dings. That and one other thing--
I had a 12X12 inch frame kicking around that I wanted to use. So I went square.
So instead of rough canvas and palette knife, I used a panel and my usual technique. Here is the picture after I had it drawn on the panel, but before I hit it with paint:
And there you have it, all the inside scoop of where this painting came from. Nothing deep and emotional here.
And for an old L7 like me, that's just the way I like it.