Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trip Update: Old Forge, New York

"Lake Serene View"
9x12, pastel

After spending several delightful days with family and friends in Chicago and Cleveland, Trina and I drove to Old Forge, New York. This weekend, I'll judge the Fifth Annual Northeast National Pastel Exhibition, and next week I'll teach a pastel plein air workshop for Arts Center/Old Forge.

In the meantime, I'm getting familiar with the territory. If I'm teaching a plein air workshop in an area where I've not painted before, I find it's important to get a handle on the landscape by painting a few small sketches. I've hiked a lot in the Adirondack Mountains, but that was before I looked at the world with a painter's eye.

Old Forge is one of the coldest wintertime places in the lower 48. Right now, even though tomorrow is May Day, the trees are still leafless and one can find the occasional scrap of snow. But the sugar maples are budding, and yesterday, a mayfly lit on my hand.

After scouting out plein air locations for the workshop, I decided to relax by painting a view of Lake Serene behind our camping cabin. My goal was to find the right palette for this season. The hills are a cool red-violet, but the budding maples give a warmer, redder cast to them. The grasses are still a winter-beaten silvery-green and dull wheat color. Some of the richest colors are the reflected sky blues in the water.

1 comment:

Miki Willa said...

Beautiful painting. I like the contrast of the grasses and the distant trees. It really conveys the feeling of spring about to burst.