|Mountain Farm in Evening, 8X6, oil on canvas|
Yesterday, I spent several hours hiking at the 3,000-acre Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC). We’re expected to paint there tomorrow, and I’ve never been there. Toting up the various trails I followed, I figure I hiked about five miles, which is my normal daily walk at home. Hiking trails, however, are different from paved urban sidewalks, particularly in a mountainous area.
|Mira Fink working on her watercolor at the VIC.|
There is an iconic view of a rock outcropping in the VIC’s Heron Marsh which is lovely, but it is perhaps too perfect for my taste. Brian McDonnell, VIC facilities manager, warned me that it would be swarming with artists on Friday. A lovely view on the far end of the marsh caught my eye, but it’s a mile and a half from the parking lot. There is a spruce swamp that is simply magical, but I’m not sure how I’ll convert that to something intelligible. I won’t choose now; I think it would be better to let the views percolate in my mind’s eye before committing them to canvas.
|Approaching the spruce swamp at the VIC.|
I also went back to two sites that I visited on Tuesday, because I wasn’t certain they would make good compositions. I did greyscale drawings to satisfy myself that painting them would work.
|A panoramic view of the High Peaks can only work if there's foreground interest. I'll tidy up the trees and I think it will work.|
At about 5 PM, I went to town to have my boards stamped. From there, Crista Pisano, Laura Bianco and I went to Gabriels, NY to paint farms in the waning evening light. It was the first time I’ve actually flexed my brush hand in a week, and it felt good.
|I'm still not convinced about these river rocks at Jay, but painting should be all about taking risks, right?|
Message me if you want information about next year’s Maine workshops. Information about this year's programs is available here.