Friday, March 07, 2008

"Dusk" -- oil study -- 8x10" -- Margie Guyot
Last night just about sundown I looked out my front window and saw this. I live about one mile east of Lake Michigan and the sunsets are sometimes spectacular. I drew a quick sketch in pen and ink, making notes on the side about the colors.

It may be March, spring may be around the corner, but we have a "goodly amount" of snow on the ground yet. The foreground was reflecting a slightly lighter shade of bluish-gray than the dark storm clouds. A pale, clear blue was peeking through the upper left break in the clouds. Along the bottom an amazing streak of hot rust-peach was breaking through. It was like a long, glowing dragon's tongue!

This morning in my studio I laid this out on a shellacked birch panel. I used a #8 brush for the whole thing and did it in about 5 minutes. There is a bit of glare on the left side because the paint is so wet. I'd like to use this as a basis for a somewhat larger painting later on.

Russel Chatham's landscape show at the Dennos Museum (Traverse City) has me all inspired again about landscapes. I've seen his exhibit twice and truly enjoy his bold, simple shapes and moody paintings. As I walked through his show, I kept thinking I should get out and do more landscapes now and then.

Simple, elegant landscapes are a nice change from what I usually do: complicated still lifes with glaring colors. Would I quit doing still lifes? NO WAY! I just think it's good for me to switch off, to do a variety of things. Kind of clears the cobwebs and stale thinking.

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