Paint Schoodic

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Monday, July 8, 2013

I've never painted like this before, but I am finally satisfied.

Completed landscape, Mendon, looking north.
A year in the painting, and it’s finally finished to my satisfaction. My very patient clients are coming tomorrow to see it.

All technique innovations start with an unanswerable problem. In this case, it was capturing the thousand prismatic details of a fallow autumn field. In fall, red leans against purple which leans against gold which leans against teal. Trees seem to be less about volume than about sheer exuberance.

After much experimentation, I ended up dry scumbling layer after layer of pigment mixed with cold wax to create the foliage. This was extremely time-consuming because it required waiting for each layer to dry. (That's also a great way to lose the thread, I found.) It's a good way to create impasto, and it will save the client having to have the work varnished, because the wax won’t allow oxidization (or so has been my experience).

Applying paint like this seemed a lot more like working with pastels rather than with oils.

Scumbling detail
 The sky, on the other hand, was painted with a series of thin glazes. The clouds are rather a mix of the two techniques.

It’s a big painting for a big wall in a relatively big space, and it had to have enough character to stand out.

Scumbling detail.
 I don’t know if I’ll ever paint this way again, but overall, I’m very satisfied with this work. I hope they like it as much as I do. I’ll sign it in the morning and it will be on its way.

Scumbling detail.
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1 comment:

Corinne said... SHOULD be MORE than satisfied! This is BRILLIANT! You outdid yourself in creating so much beauty for the eye to enjoy! I have never heard of these techniques with cold wax added and all this scumbling about! I would love to watch you paint like this sometime, on a smaller scale of course! I am so impressed, this painting is so rich and beautiful! I am positive your client will be "over the top" pleased! This is a MASTERPIECE! :-) I hope they are paying you well...