Sunday, May 12, 2013

Two Dozen Days of Painting

Here 'tis

Do I like the photo? No!
Will you be angry if I don't blog one? Yes!

Alright, here it is. Doesn't look right on my monitor----who knows how it will look on yours. For a start, the leaves on the sapling are cinnabar and secret yellow. I don't think you're getting that. Second, the sky is almost straight titanium/zinc white. Third, the line of trees in the far distance is pale ultramarine-----and there's a lot of glare everywhere, sapping its richness, particularly at the top.

Okay, enough caveats. Driving it down to Arcadia in New York on Tuesday.

I've ordered the stretcher bars from Upper Canada, and I have the canvas on hand, for the Vertical One's successor to get ready for the easel.

As it turns out, it's to be another vertical, but slightly taller, and skinnier (85" x 37", 216 x 94 cm). There's a reason for this size which I'll explain in a few months.

I've been doing drawings, really large-ish thumbnail sketches. I seem to keep going back to one of the earliest ones.  It's really rough but, since this blog is just between us, here it is.

Don't worry about the way the buildings are drawn, or the trees, or the shadows, not to mention that the buildings are tipping down toward the right. At this stage, I just want to create some idea of a place. From this I can begin to imagine the shadows crossing the road, the contrast of the barn in shadow but glanced by the sun with the brightness of the small house whose front is bathed in late afternoon light.

I expect the ultimate point of it won't be the particular place. Instead it will be the coolness in the deep shadows colliding with the still fiery, declining sun.

As you will imagine, I'll need to make a lot more decisions when making this composition twelve times taller and twelve times wider. 
I may keep you posted, if you're good.

Speaking of being good, we've now had over 30,000 pageviews of the blog. From what I can tell from the statistics they give me, after the US the front-runners are France, Germany and Russia, in shifting order. One day last week we had all the continents represented, save Antarctica. But this doesn't often happen, for I rarely get visits from Africa.

In any event, I have an idea. Why not send me ( a photo of where you live, along with your name, and the name of the place. If I get some, I'll try to post one everytime I blog. We're a community of artists, after all, so let's act like a community!

Here are two photos of Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA, where I live---just to get it started. 

The nearest water is the mouth of the Merrimack River. The thin line on the horizon is the Atlantic Ocean.  Crossing the ocean in a straight line, due east, we'd land near Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Share with us where you live and work!


  1. I feel like one of many distant relatives who proudly watched The Vertical One as it grew from infancy... through the 'terrible twos'... past the angst of being a teen... to full adulthood right before our eyes. And now, alas, it must leave to start its own life away from home.
    And you've already rented out his room to the next lucky foster child.
    Congratulations. It's beautiful.

  2. Yep, a sparkling dream - a thousand summer mornings. Bravo!

  3. It really has great sense of space (not to mention that DJ custom brushwork in the hedgerows and trees. Makes you want to step into the canvas, follow Johansen's rivulet, and see what is around the corner.

  4. Wonderful Donald!! And I am completely satisfied now that you have posted the image. Well, until next time. Safe travels tomorrow.