I spent the weekend at my parents’ house and had to wait a while for the rain to stop to get a painting done. The sun didn’t cooperate and eventually the clouds won.

acrylic, 12×16″ 

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Earth colors on my palette today made this quicker and easier.

acrylic, 20×16″ 


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Limestone Cliffs

My other painting is on hold while I’m waiting for the fields to grow back so today I rode my bike out to some limestone cliffs along the river. I’m not sure yet if this is just Day #1 and I’ll return to finish it or not. My original plan was to paint the train bridge across the river, but the bike path has gotten so popular that it was quite crowded today (a Thursday morning). I wasn’t in the mood for an audience so I kept riding to the cliffs.


I spent most of my time on the distant parts because generally that is the area that interests me most. I had lost the light on the foreground cliffs anyway, but they’re ready for attention if I do decide to go back and work on this again.


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Philadelphia Museum of Art

Yesterday I went to Philly for the Impressionism show. I’m not really a big fan of Impressionism but it was a nice show. The Degas were very nice. I enjoy going more to see some old favorites in the museum (Turner, Corot, Inness, Homer, Moran, Tiepolo, Rubens, Boldini, etc.) They have a nice Sargent landscape of a waterfall but you’d need a ladder to get up high enough to see it. Seriously, a really tall ladder. Some beautiful Innesses and a William Trost Richards are also up there near the ceiling. The little room with Vuillards (and Bonnards) is always intriguing.


And in the evening I went to my figure group for some more practice.


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Day 6

Painting all those trees is monotonous. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish everything above the field soon. Then I’ll get a break from this while waiting for the field to grow back.


And last time I mentioned how color is affected by the colors around it and by the context. I noted that my mind was seeing the distant trees as green (or understanding them to be green) but my eyes were seeing them as orange and by placing appropriate colors next to the orange and by having it in proper context the orange would read as green. Here is an example I found on Facebook this morning that illustrates this idea more simply. If you cover the middle shadow/light line between the two blocks you’ll see that they are both the same color, but the colors next to it and the context make your mind see something different.


And this evening I rode my bike to the park to paint the roses. They were all wilted and looked terrible so I tried to find one that was decent. Last year I bought a tube of Winsor & Newton’s Opera Rose. This was my first time using it. Finally reaching those pinks of the roses.


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Staycation 2015

Kicked off this year’s staycation with a sunset painting in oils. I felt like I had five minutes to paint the painting because it was changing so fast. Not happy with it but fun to try anyway.

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House Rock Nature Preserve

A new spot for me this morning. I’ve painted a lot from the top of the hill on the left way back there looking towards where I am sitting. They predicted rain so I took a pochade box and since my acrylics are all in my other set-ups I used oils. They were ready to go.

oils, 8×10″ 

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And a brief walk through a meadow of wildflowers resulted in huge blisters on both knees and legs. I noticed them as soon as I sat down to paint. Not sure what it is but really hope it goes away quickly and without a lot of itching.


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Day 5

Very windy today, but I worked through it. If it had been any windier I would’ve laid the canvas flat on the ground. My heavy supply bag kept the easel anchored. No bugs though. Once the clouds rolled in I was done. Nothing I can do about clouds blocking the light.

Still working on that distant section on the other side of the river. This isn’t really “fun” anymore and feels like busy work, but this is becoming a very educational work for me. The distant trees look green to my mind, but on the palette they are orange. Juxtaposition and context affect the color on the canvas. I should do a blog post about that, a photo of the mixture on my palette and a photo of where the note sits on the painting. That may be interesting to people who don’t paint.


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Day 4

This was my fourth visit. It was cut short by a call from summer camp requesting I pick up one of our campers. More visits to come. It’s getting there…. slowly. Every time I visit it looks different and I repaint a lot of what I thought was already done. By the time I finish the middle ground the fields will have regrown.


And this is a shot of dead mayflies on the bridge across the Susquehanna River. The story made international news. It smelled really bad.


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More Boxes

Heat + humidity = still life season. Looking to spend a little time in the air conditioning right now.

acrylic, 20×16″ 


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