Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Snow Paintings

"Saratoga Fields", oil on linen, 24 x 24

I've finally finished up all the winter paintings I've been working on the past few weeks.  I've done quite a few studies and paintings of the area between Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville.  I'm leaving for the tropics tomorrow so this will be the last cold weather painting I will be doing for a while!  Next stop Tortola . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Schuylerville Sunset

Study for "Schuylerville Sunset", oil on linen, 6 x 8

Another painting from the Saratoga-Schuylerville area done from sketches and memory.  I am working on a 24 x 24 version of this painting but changed the composition to accommodate the square format.  I am happy with the progress so far and hopefully will be able to post something tomorrow.  Busy, busy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Landscapes and Memory

"Winter Vineyards", oil on linen panel, 8 x 10

This little painting is a scene from the same area as the last few posts.  Working from memory is both liberating and confounding!  It is liberating in the sense that the artist doesn't feel constrained by the limits of what is in the photo or sketch and is free to move trees around, change the direction of light and create different color harmonies than what may have been there initially.  It is confounding for just that reason as well.  There is no guidepost or map to follow when painting from memory.  The color of the bushes against the snow was what I remembered most vividly of this scene.  I may have overdone the saturation of the rust colored bushes but I'll let it sit a while.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Saratoga Sunrise

"Saratoga Sunrise", oil on linen, 5 x 7

This little painting was one of my first experiments with indirect painting.  I didn't intend to paint in layers with this little study as the underpainting was done in opaque rather than translucent paint.  Paintings done in an indirect manner usually start with a translucent underpainting followed by layers of thin glazes to build the color.  I like the soft effects you can get with glazes but I also like the bold, fresh quality of paintings done in one go ("alla prima").   There will be more posts on indirect painting as I experiment with this method in the coming months.   This painting is currently at Mimosa Gallery in Saratoga Springs NY as part of their small works exhibit which is on view through February 17th.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Along the Road to Schuylerville

"Road to Schuylerville, oil on panel, 6 x 6

This painting was done from sketches and memory.  I have been visiting a few spots on the road between Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville every day for the past week or so.  This is beautiful country very close to the New York/Vermont border.  Bordered by the Hudson River on the east,  there are horse farms, corn fields and apple orchards along the road.  From some vantage points you can see the Adirondack Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains on the horizon.  I particularly like the winter landscape here.  Below is a pastel version of the same composition.  The colors are cooler and stronger in this version.  I like the texture of this piece (it reminds me of a Twachtman winter scene) but I am doing the larger piece in oil.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Saratoga Lake Oil Sketch

"Lake Ice Saratoga", 6 x 8, oil on linen

Part of my new approach to painting involves working more from memory and on site sketches.  Eventually I hope to get rid of photo references all together.   I am spending more time working out different design ideas and color combinations before starting a new work.  I worked from a couple of graphite sketches to create this little color study.  I was trying to capture the feel of an icy morning at the lake in late Fall.  There was just a light dusting of snow on the lake grasses and trees.   I remember the different colors of the shoreline were a mix of pale warm and cool colors.  I love the pale pinks, greens and greys that you see in a late Fall landscape.