Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Painting in November

Rough Meadows Septet

On Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3, we had consecutive classes with different casts (for the most part). Both days we went to Rough Meadows Audubon Sanctuary in Rowley, Massachusetts.

Part of the Great Marsh, this property is a landscape painter's dream, especially in the autumn. For the two classes, I decided to divide up a 24x30" canvas into seven parts. I toned the lower portion of five of the rectangles, and completely toned the remaining two, vertical ones.

Because both days were class days, I wasn't able to spend much time on my own canvas, but here's what I got down.

One the right-middle, vertical panel, I showed that another strategy for making trees is to paint the negative spaces (the sky) so that the trees emerge as positive shapes.
We had Open Studios last weekend in Amesbury, and a lot of time was spent trying to make my studio presentable. This was followed with two intense days of meeting and greeting, very enjoyable, but very tiring. I mention this because it explains why I haven't got much further on the septet.
Last Friday, the 9th, we were again back at Rough Meadows. Here's a 16x20" quartet of grisailles done then. It seems I'm much like a squirrel at this time of the year: going crazy, saving nuts for winter.

A few of us went back to the site this past Monday, a beautiful, stolen, plein air day...66 degrees and sunshine on the twelfth of November.

And, as if that weren't blessing enough, Bill and Deb showed up at lunchtime with home-made clam chowder. Delicious! Thanks again.

Studio time, yesterday and today, gave me a bit of a chance to think about what I wanted to do with the Septet. Here's where I got to. Much yet to be done, of course. But I now know pretty much what each section will be like.

Hope you're finding plein air painting days where you are----if so, leave a comment (below) and let us know.

Paint well!


  1. make my head hurt sometimes! Can't wait for Friday.

  2. Thanks, Donald! - that's a nice insight.

  3. Fantastic, Donald! Autumn is the most poignant ,sensual of seasons!

  4. Love seeing the work evolve. Is the septet intended to remain a single piece or was this a teaching mechanism for showing different approaches and methods? Interesting composition!

  5. Hi Bruce...I knew both days were to be cold and windy so I decided to divide the canvas ahead of time, enabling me to be somewhat less frantic during the demonstrations and relieving me of having to cover the whole 24"x30" canvas. It also made sense from a nut-gathering perspective: the site is an Audubon Sanctuary and there's a possible painting everywhere you look. I suspect I intended, on some level, for the ensemble to remain as one work since I divided it carefully into a symmetrical pattern. BTW, it's not a panel----it's a stretched canvas.