Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Walk in the Park

From the flat files

One of the first plein air attempts from several years ago.

After spending far too many years as a commercial artist, plein air
painting was something new for me. Now retired, I have time to
try it out. I joined a group that met once a month and got a feel
for what I needed to do.

This trip was too a small town in southern Michigan. I found this
park and settled into this spot. It was a cold misty day in the fall.
Not conducive to brilliant color and contrasting shadows, it became
a struggle and challenge. I wanted to put in the base color scheme
with wet in wet technique. That part went well ... it was at that time
I realized that the wet paper was going to lay there wet for the rest of
the day. Wellllllllll, I was cold and damp, the paper was cold and damp,
so I fired up the car and turned the heat on high and hoped for the best.
It did finally dry enough to continue. I think at this point my interest
was no longer what it needed to be and the painting lost something
because I was in a hurry to finish and go get some coffee. The big tree
is too heavy and over worked and dominates far too much. I think the
best thing about the painting is the last stroke I made. I quick brush
across the road up close to the front. Adds a little flair. All in all it's ok,
but as I sit here writing about it, I see the things I should have done and
are anxious to attempt it again in the studio.

I know an artist is his own worst critic, but I choose to write about the
good and bad about paintings so that people at different levels of
ability realize that all of us struggle and sometimes fail. Everyone
needs to know this so they feel comfortable with continuing.
I think it's important!!

Well, Thursday I'm off to Acadia National Park in Maine for 7 days.
Hopefully this will spark my interest in plein air painting again.
Wish me luck.


loriann said...

Hey Doug! Wow, what a great little painting. I can't believe it is one of your first plein air paintings. I love your use of warm and cool and the assortments of marks. Nice foggy feel. I see soooo many possibilities for a studio painting using this one.
Have fun in Acadia. Paint like a fiend. Painting Buddette

Double "D" said...

Thanks Buddette,

I'm drowsy in Toronto this morning, on our way to Montreal. Gosh I love driving, not!

There are so many things I want to try with this painting. Sometimes I think I'm asleep at the switch.
I have all these plein air paintings that could become large studio paintings. What am I think? Nothing!

Your painting buddy,

TheChieftess said...

I guess I'm just a subtle kind of gal...again, I love the subtlety of the colors in this one...it certainly speaks to me of a fall afternoon walk...getting ready for winter to set in...

susan hong-sammons said...

my first visit to your blog. Now I can't wait to see what you painted while in Maine.

Deb Kirkeeide said...

Good philosophy Doug. Too many people are afraid to start because they think they have to be perfect. Most of the time we do not see the failures of others! Have to say I have been guilty of that!
I like this one and really wonderful for one of your first attempts!