Thursday, August 13, 2009

Painting Buildings from a Distance

Quite often, when we paint architecture, we get too close to our subject. Every scrap of peeling paint becomes an enticement to waylay us on the way to creating a successful painting. Finding a vantage point where these little details dissolve can make our journey smoother.

I like to paint the old fish buildings of Lubec, Maine, and they are full of those scraps of peeling paint. But I have my ideal vantage point. From Mulholland Point on Campobello Island, N.B., you get an excellent, but somewhat distant, view of Lubec. The Lubec Channel, a fast-moving strip of tidal water, separates the two by about a thousand feet. Seals like to watch me from the water as I paint.

I made these two pastel sketches today from the Point of the old fish buildings. (Visit for historical information on the complex.)

"Red Roof" 5x7 pastel

"McCurdy Smokehouse Complex" 5x7 pastel


Donna T said...

Nice pastels Michael! I'd love to see the second one in a larger version. Those roofs make such interesting subjects!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Donna! Me, too!