I’ve had this painting on my easel for about a week. There was a lot of thought put into it – an almost scary amount given my impatient, impetuous tendencies. Sky and basic colors in pale shades. From there, midtones, darker shades, and finally details. The foreground was so challenging – the cone flowers want detail, but don’t want too much. The orange ones are totally lacking in detail, and are just blobs of color. And then the buildings . . . still some perspective issues, particularly in the house on the right, but better than anything I have done to date. Dreams of summer now that spring is blooming here in California!
I promised to paint more buildings. So I did. I painted a house in the middle of a cold, cold climate in the dead of winter. I made better house drawings when I was 10.
I have really lost touch with real cold, real snow, and a real winter. I do have memories, though, of the intense gloom of the woods in northern New York state. There was something so magical about them – the silence of the woods, the snow falling, the sense of being alone in the world. I liked the idea of capturing that with a building, on water, in the dead of winter.
Buildings mean people, even in the middle of nowhere, on a river. People usually mean unnecessary noise, and in the woods or hiking, the last thing I want is noise. Silence is something to be savored in our noisy age.
So, let’s get back to the “disastrous fun” of this posting. “Disastrous” as this is such an amateurish painting, and “fun” because the more I got into, and the more I realized how awful it was, the more fun I had. Making a “good” painting no longer had any meaning – it was the experience. And the snow.
The final touch was the snowflakes. White gouache to spatter. I spattered on the painting. It flew onto my glasses. I spattered some more. It flew onto my glasses. I changed how I was spattering, and there were streaks.
Snowflakes don’t streak in the real world. Spattering paint is an art form in and of itself.
I love the colors of houses seen throughout the Caribbean. Brilliant sunshine sets them off beautifully. The same with white – it becomes so bright it can be as blinding as snow in the sunshine. Where I live, if anyone paints their house anything other than beige or some other neutral color, they sort of get a weird look, like “what’s wrong with them,” so the colors you see in the Caribbean is eye candy.
Of late, I have painting snow and water. And skies. Now, I am looking to trying to include buildings in my paintings. I want to improve my perspective (the chimney here is cock-eyed) and to make them focal points. At some point I may even brave putting people into my paintings.
Here, the study was not just architecture, but white and how to express it as something other than just white. Fabriano Artistico, cobalt and ultramarine blue, sap and Hooker’s green, yellow ochre, and red oxide (I think).