Sunday, July 19, 2009

Even More Boats

"Brown-Eyed Girl"
16x20, oil


We've had a crop of bad weather lately, so I've been forced to the studio to do some large pieces for my upcoming show at Sunbury Shores Art & Nature Centre in St Andrews (14 August - 9 September). I'm into boats right now, so I pulled out some photos to work from. Here's a funny story about the photo "Brown-Eyed Girl" was made from.

I saw this photo the other week, and I liked the boat and the composition well enough to decide to start a painting. But I wanted to collect additional reference material, in particular some color studies, since we all know how photos lie about color. I seemed to recall having seen this boat still up on the flats the other day, so on our one sunny day this month, I went out to paint it. That day's effort became the 16x20 "Simone & Rachel," which I blogged about the other day.

When I went home to start the studio painting, I suddenly realized the boat in the photo was a different color! It was green, but the boat I'd painted (the "Simone & Rachel") was red. Closer analysis also showed a different name on the hull: "Brown-Eyed Girl." As I studied the photo, I saw other differences, too, such as the profile of the gunwale.

There's no point to this tale other than this: Painting may hone one's skills of observation, but you still have to pay attention!

3 comments:

ann Wheatcroft said...

Michael: the red misty boat houses are such a perfect compliment for the green of the boat. It calls to me even more than the first version. and about "seeing" I think its interesting what you see when you have turned the painting to the wall for a few weeks. sometimes its unbelievable how its changed! lol. Ann W

Elise said...

Love your work !

Do you draw or paint ballet dancers by any chance ? Or do you know anyone who could ?

I'm after a drawing or painting for my website and would really like to find someone in the blogging community who can help.

Thank you !

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Ann and Elise! Sorry, Elise, I do only landscapes professionally.