Friday, December 13, 2013

Trying to find an Answer

A Fresh Start

This is a quick post about what happened in the studio today.

I pulled out of the cupboard a 20x25" canvas that I began at the Vermont Workshop in June 2012. Since that time it's been languishing around the studio, but it was brought into service this autumn for a session of the Dead Paintings Society. I re-worked it some, changing it several times in the process, for whatever educational benefit it might have.

Today, casting about for a surface on which to paint, and not wanting to stretch a canvas, I decided that the Vermont painting needed to give its life for ART. 

Although I failed to take a photo before I started, there's enough here to bring back painful memories for any of my students who were there.

I flipped it into a vertical.

And added the yellow ochre, baryte yellow, and secret yellow sky and its reflection.

What I was most after was a mood. Most of you know I like to keep the painting entirely in play until my imagination is fired by something within the rectangle.

Above, you will see that I continued the reflection, and added a temporary "shoreline" so I would have a reference point.

At this stage, I've put in a bit more color, and made some streaks in the sky. I've wiped out the area in the lower left, thinking about putting in a near shoreline or bank.

Now there is some more activity in the sky and a reflection in the water. The distant hill is more filled in, as is its reflection.

Finally, I filled in the hillside and its reflection, and built a rocky foreground. 

This is where I stopped. I'm not sure what will ultimately be the "subject" of the picture in a conventional sense.   For me, the subject will be the mood.

Try this at home.


  1. Fascinating process and evolution. Very Wyethish feel to it for some reason.
    Reminds me of Edwardian or early twenties bok plates. Love it.

  2. I could never "get my head around" that one, thanks for sharing this, I'm a "follower" now,
    Best, Matt