Sunday, March 08, 2009

"Cattail Marsh" -- plein air field study -- oil on gessoed panel -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

Yesterday I was on my hike out to Fox Mission and loved the patterns of melting snow on the cattail marsh. After I returned from my hike I loaded the Explorer and drove back over to paint this view. I wasn't sure if I could get it to come out -- it's kind of difficult to get the illusion of the dark water with rotting vegetation at the bottom. Painting very dark shades with the very light shades is always kind of a test. Things want to smear together.

As always, I composed this by framing it through my little plastic viewfinder. Clyde Aspevig got us used to using it and I wouldn't attempt a painting without one.

It was very quiet here. All I could hear were occasional bird songs. Love this area!

"Fox Mission: Late Afternoon" -- plein air field study -- oil on gessoed panel -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

Friday afternoon I got started late with my painting. I'd spent hours trying (in vain) to burn jpegs onto a CD to send in for an art grant. Finally had to give up and call my neighbor Jerry. He drove over & was able to save for me in 2 minutes. Ah, youth!

After mailing the CD and grant application, I was driving home and noticed the beautiful, pale gray sky. The snow is starting to melt around here and the temperature was relatively warm (upper 30's) and the sky had a very special quality to it, sort of a pearl-gray tone. I loaded my gear and drove up to the top ridge of Fox Mission to paint this. This view is facing south. I loved the smokey blue line in the far distance. And the patterns of the melting snow. This is a favorite spot of the white tail deer.

"Bag of Oranges" -- oil on panel -- 11x14" -- Margie Guyot

I was getting behind in my posts! I did this one on Thursday in the studio. It was a very dark, gloomy, rainy day. Impossible to paint outside with oils. To get the strong shadow shapes I set up a studio light.

The scary part about doing this painting was painting the suggestion of the red mesh bag on at the end. Everything was very wet and gooey. There's always the risk of ruining everything. But I remembered the words of Robert Bateman. He told our class never to be afraid to try something that might improve your painting. It's always a risk worth taking.

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