Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall at the Gardens, 12x12

Bainbridge Gardens....
....has long been a destination for tour buses that visit the island, so when I got a suggestion to paint there I was in.  (They also have a nice outdoor restaurant.)

You'll have noticed that the last five have been 12x12 size.  They also have all been shellacked birch plywood, no gesso or other preparation.  I've been using egberts, which are long bristled filberts that, especially on shellac, give very little control.  I'm having a blast using them.

Looking for something to paint from a comfortable spot, I didn't originally believe I could make anything out of this and that I would use it as just an exercise, scraping it later.  Turns out I find it a pleasant little piece.  Lots of fire.

Thanks for looking.  Back soon.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Holding Pond Times Two, 12x12

'Blakey Afternoon'.....
.....and 'Blakely Morning' are from the former site of the largest sawmill in the world, way back in the day.   It is now a park and I posted another painting from there on July 10th.  I've been going there frequently this year, usually to do small studies but also an occasional larger piece, 18x24.  Lately I seem to be getting into the 12x12 size.  Actually, it's intentional because I have always found a square format to be more compositionally I'm working on it.

I'm also painting with egbert style brushes which have long difficult to control bristles.  The brush dances all over the surface, depositing little dabs of paint at random.   A bit like painting with the tail of a live peacock.

'Blakey Afternoon' happened in the waning afternoon light.  You see the water level as relatively low but it quickly changed in the hour I was there and ended up only  a few feet below the shore line by the time I packed up.  I have another one in the works from studies as the sun was going down.  The warm sunset light streams through the trees changing the color of everything.

'Blakey Morning' is looking back from that opposite shore the next morning.  The building is all that is left of a very large sawing complex that extended out over the water on both sides of this narrow peninsula.  It has become an ever changing art project for local spray can artists.

Here are a couple of pages from my sketchbook which show small paintings of that building done with gouache.  Gouache is a great way to study, especially when working small, fast and loose.  In an upcoming post I will likely share more of this sketchbook and how it has helped me move toward a better expression of what I want to do. 

And for you who like history, here is a picture of that mill from former times.  What is left is that small lighter section in the center of the photo, the generator building (see inset):

Thanks for looking.  I'll be back.....Dirty Harry said that....

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Blues and Reds, 12x12

Port Townsend, WA....
.....was originally hoping to be the New York of the West coast back before the railroad had made it here.  Astoria, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland plus some others were also hoping that they would be chosen for the Great Northern terminus.  Located at the top of Puget Sound, P.T. is a beautiful little town of old buildings, hills and ocean views.  It even has a downtown and an uptown (about four blocks up the hill).

The boatyard there is a friendly place of quirky people, small out of the way restaurants and good shapes and ideas for painters.  This last Wednesday I was wandering around trying to find my friend Mick Davidson and stumbled on this scene.  I really didn't care what the objects were because what grabbed me were all those blues.  I got kicked out of my first vantage point, which was good because I think this turned out better.

After a very brief break I walked around some buildings and painted this one which is certainly about the shapes but also very much about all those reds.  The advancing shadows of the afternoon kept me speeding along. I think they make a nice flat shape foil for the other objects.

A couple of years ago I drew from the same location....obviously a different boat.  I used the same drawing technique for the painting that I did in the drawing.  The very first stroke I put down was the telephone pole on the right side.  Once in place it becomes a measuring stick that the rest of the drawing can build off from.  Using that pole for comparison I can see where the parts of the boats line up in comparison to the pole.

I also did that in this warm up drawing for the trip this last week.  This time it was the front vertical piece of the fork lift.  Everything around that was placed in comparison....and then the rest of the drawing from those initial objects.  Makes things much simpler....I need 'simpler'.    (Look carefully in the other drawing and the same forklift shows up.)

Thanks for looking!!