Although travel has taken me to quite a few places recently and I have seen many landscapes that I have wanted to paint, somehow none of this has resulted in any new paintings - at least nothing that I want to show here. I have been working on things, finishing off a misty morning painting that I started some time ago along with a study or two, just nothing that I'm too excited about. I'm not sure why this is but lately when faced with a blank canvas on my easel, nothing seems to happen. Usually I paint every day so it is rare to go for so long without completing something. Fortunately I now seem to have left all this behind. Let me explain.
When I was staying with clients recently, they mentioned owning a barn not too far from where I live and gave me permission to visit whenever I wanted - which I quickly did! The first visit was just to scout the place out. Only half an hour away, it is not a large place and not really a working farm as such that there are no farm implements or machinery there (although the fields are tilled each year). Still there is a large barn, a silo and some out-buildings (where machinery used to be stored) along with a charming house. After that visit I completed a medium sized oil of a view into one of the buildings trying for morning sun and shadow. At first I was pleased with it but then after awhile very much less so! Now it is turned against the studio wall and will remain like that for at least a month!
On my second visit I took my watercolors and sketchbook. This time I concentrated on the lower section under the main barn and spent most of my time inside looking at the structure and windows planning paintings in relation to the darker interior and the winter light that filters in. After returning home, I started a large watercolor. The pencil underdrawing shown above was done quite roughly just making sure that my general shapes and perspective was correct. I didn't worry too much as some of the boards had cracked and settled so most of the accurate work was done around the window and window frames. Then the paper was stretched and stapled to a board to dry.