Friday, November 22, 2013
A small 5" x 7" study of the marshland along the Chesapeake where I love to go and paint. Chincoteague is a wonderful reserve on the coast of Virginia full of birds and ponies. Obviously waterbirds predominate but with a fair amount of surrounding trees (mostly pines), warblers and other birds are the attraction - especially during migration, so while painting I keep the binoculars handy! This painting will be in the exhibition at Berkley Gallery that opens this weekend so I hope if you are in the area, you will come and visit.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I love being out in inclement weather so when a strong storm neared the coast, I was out there trying to do some studies in an effort to capture the feelings of wind and rain - plus the rather heavy surf! Here two waves are breaking at the same time and the wind is whipping off the tops in sheets of spray. Whitecaps further out show just how disturbed the sea was that day and heavy clouds darkened the scene rather dramatically. This smaller work is perhaps a precursor to larger paintings that I hope to complete at a later date - a pleasant reminder perhaps of time spent sea-watching off the North coast of Cornwall. Storm at sea is an oil on canvas, size 9" x 12" (23cm x 31cm).
To complete the painting I laid in the background trees using various shades of brown, then the evergreen trees followed before finishing up with finer details such as tree branches etc. A wooden fence on the right helped add much needed detail to the mostly open area on that side and the smaller spots of orange brought a little more color into the foreground. I'll probably fiddle with it a bit more but for now I'm declaring the painting finished! This oil will form my centerpiece in the up-coming exhibition at Berkley Gallery in Warrenton, Virginia that opens this weekend. The reception is on Saturday Nov 23rd from 5:00 to 7:00 and the exhibition runs through to the end of December. Country Farm is 24" x 36" (610cm x 915cm).
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I saw this farm in morning snow not far from my home and due to a convenient side road, was able to park on the side and do a number of sketches and studies. Later back at the studio, I chose a large canvas and drew out the composition in pencil. Usually I start at the top of the painting then work down and forward but after putting in the sky, I became so interested in the silos and other farm buildings that I just had to paint them next. After working on the mid-ground area for awhile, I decided to finish the foreground so I added the snow with the long shadows cast from the tall trees just out of the picture on the left. Next I'll work on the background and finish up with some of the final details around the farm.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Living near the Potomac River means just a short drive to its wooded banks and I love to walk the towpath especially in the spring and fall when the river is particularly beautiful. Migrant birds abound drawn not so much by the water but by the tall trees that boarder each side. On the Maryland side, these trees often form an extensive network of woods leading deep into the northern part of the state. I usually start my walk at Great Falls and watch out for larger birds overhead as well as warblers etc which at times seem to be in every bush and tree. On occasion I'll see an Osprey or two usually following the river or soaring higher over the trees and love to follow them in my binoculars. More rarely eagles appear but it is also a good place to find Black (and Turkey) Vultures.
When I'm painting I try to remember to keep looking up in case there is something overhead and this is the idea in the painting here. I'm often attracted to the area below the falls especially when mist fills the air and distances seems absolute. For me it is a magical playground where each vista takes on a new meaning - I'll spend hours painting until the sun rises high enough to burn off the mist and the river returns to normal. I never seem to tire of it. Osprey and Morning Mist, oil on canvas, size 9" x 12".