Paint Schoodic

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Third time’s a charm

My sketch for painting of lye tailings in Rockport, ME.
After attempting this twice and failing dismally both times, I decided to back off and look at a painting that’s currently on the easel of my friend Brad Marshall. This unfinished painting  uses a tremendous diagonal to set the stage for a scene of Lake Maggiore in the Italian Alps.

Why Brad’s painting? It’s excellent, first off. But I was just looking at it, and it was on my mind. 

My first step was an art-student approach—I printed a copy of Brad’s painting-in-progress and sketched a fair copy of  it so I could understand why my diagonal kept bisecting my canvas. That made my problem clear: the water needed to be rendered as a midtone, not a dark (no matter that Goose River is peaty and brown), and the whole shebang needed better foundation garments. In other words, it was sagging too low in the picture.

The next challenge is to make this accumulation of rusting barrel hoops, lye tailings, and new growth into something beautiful. Well, if it fails, it fails.
Also, I threw my graphite sticks across the room and went back to my #2 mechanical pencil. My prior sketches were too high-contrast to be workable. Sometimes you can get just too sophisticated for your own good.

Easy peasy from there. But the sad reality is, I’m only good for two hours of work a day, maximum, right now. Very frustrating for the Energizer Bunny, but this too shall pass.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

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