Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gathering Reference Material

Recently, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick commissioned me to paint two pieces of property it is trying to purchase for protection. Although I'd like to present the organization with two strictly plein-air pieces, time and weather may not permit this approach. Since yesterday looked to be the only sunny day in the near future, I decided to gather reference material on-location. Yesterday, I drove up to St Andrews-by-the-Sea to take photos and to paint 5x7s. In the event I decide to do studio paintings, the photos will help with details and the 5x7s, with colors.

The first piece of land adjoins the Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve. I headed for a lookout over Sam Orr's Pond. The lookout, about 20 minutes in by foot with a steep climb at the end, gazes over the Pond to the prospective purchase on the other side. (A bronze plaque on the summit commemorates Thom Washburn.)

From here, I took several dozen photos of the property, followed by a 5x7 to capture the morning light. Here is the 5x7 along with a photo of me at the site. (Pardon the glare on the painting; some of the still-wet brushstrokes catch the light.)

By the time I descended, low tide had passed and the water was starting to roll back in. I wanted to photo and paint the next property, Navy Island, as close to low tide as possible. Navy Island, 150 acres of undeveloped coastal habitat, lies just offshore from St Andrews. From Pottery Creek, I had a remarkable view of Niger Reef in the foreground with Navy Island not too far away. Here's the 5x7:

Now, should the weather remain fickle, I can take my color studies and photos and enjoy creating a larger piece in the comfort of my studio.

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