|View from Catherine's gazebo, by Anna McDermott. (The color of these paintings is somewhat overblown because it was almost dark when I snapped these shots.)|
There are places with gazebos in Rochester, but when there’s electrical activity on the horizon it helps if they’re not too far from a parking lot. Yesterday was a humid, dark day with thunderstorms forecasted for 5 PM. I went over my list of options with my student and pal, Catherine, ending up with the Fairport Library gazebo.
|The actual scene she was painting. The greens of summer can be acidic and unvaried in New York.|
“No, not that again!” she responded, and I had to agree. Although it overlooks the canal, it’s got boring sightlines.
|View from Catherine's gazebo, by Sandy Quang.|
So we met in her gazebo, which overlooks a 10-acre pond. The trouble is, there’s a rain forest between the gazebo and the pond and no amount of chopping seems to keep the sightlines open.
|The actual scene she was painting.|
All of which I knew before I got there, but I still love the view, since you’re looking across a thicket of sumacs to a far hillside. Of course, it’s all green, but greens are an excellent challenge. If you can sort out a painting from a thicket of scrubby trees, you can paint anything.
In the Forest of Fontainebleau took Camille Corot five years to complete (1860-65). I gave my students three hours.
I have three openings left for my 2014 workshop in Belfast, ME. Information is available here.