Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paint While the Fire's Hot

Quiet Bend - 992
16x20 oil/canvas

Somewhere recently I read that, after returning to the studio from the field, it's best to make use of those plein air sketches sooner than later.  The enthusiasm you had in the field is, at best, a tender plant, and wilts easily.  Rather than waiting for the stars to align favorably, it's best to get started while the moment is still fresh in your mind.

I've got plenty of sketches sitting in boxes that I've never done anything with.  Recently, I came back from a painting trip to the "Arizona Strip," and in addition to urging from friends, I had a hankering to take the sketches and do something larger.  Last week, I had the opportunity.  At the top of the post is the finished 16x20 oil on canvas, and below are my two 9x12 field sketches.  The painting is of the bend in the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, but I call it "Quiet Bend" - and it was a very quiet day when I stood gazing down upon it.

I enjoyed working on this piece.  For me, who loves being outdoors painting, it's sometimes hard to lock myself in the studio to work.  I have to make things interesting.  This time, I needed the right beverage (lately, Russian Caravan tea), the right music (I rediscovered my Twin Peaks CD), the right incense (Satya "Super Hit" by Shrinivas Sugandhalaya) and, above all, the right approach - the painting knife.  I used a big knife on the studio piece, and that was exciting.

Lees Ferry I, 9x12 oil/panel - 993

Lees Ferry II, 9x12, oil/linen panel - 994
Take a plein air painting workshop with me this winter in Sedona, Arizona!

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