I just took this photo from my back stoop about one minute before the deluge arrived. I have GOT to paint this.
This is on Route 11 in Dayton, VA. I like the idea of trees trimmed in the past to stay clear of phone or power lines, or maybe large trucks. The lines are now gone, but the oddly shaped trees remain.
This one lends itself to watercolor, so I think I will do it in that medium.
I drive this road so many times I keep seeing ideas for paintings along it. This one is traveling south, somewhere between Mt. Crawford and Cross Keys—a single white barn against the skyline with its eave vent slats, a row of winter deciduous and conifer trees also against the sky, cold grey rumpled cloud-cover, very soft, no edges, and a scrubby sloping field, with the remains of last year's corn stubble and vague indications of rows. Not a big painting, maybe 20x30.
I was able to put in two 5-hour sessions at the Beverley Street Studio School on this, with invaluable advice from the instructor Jeff Stockberger. I think the direction has been set correctly, and I can finish this in my studio with a clear idea of the path to follow.
Finished today in class with plenty of time to put the "Cow and Trucks" painting up and spend the majority of the session working on that.
This is what I faced this morning to begin the fourth session on this painting.. Every aspect of it was worked over the next four hours: sky, trees, grass, road. I think the next Notes entry will be the completed painting, next week.
The third five-hour session on this painting continued today at the Beverley Street Studio School in Staunton, VA. The canvas is covered, with mainly dark colors. Today I will begin introducing midtone and highlight colors, also textures: unfocused in the distance, more in-focus toward the foreground. This is where I began the session.
I use a Nikon 3100 digital SLR camera and controlled lighting — mainly flourescent "natural" light bounced off the white ceiling — to produce .jpeg files for exhibition applications. I mount the paintings on my H-frame easel to insure they are perfectly vertical to the camera.
A new 'Indirect Oil Painting' studio class has begun at the Beverley Street Studio School, and I began painting the landscape scene I had previously photographed from my car while driving up to visit with my grandsons. I had already messed with the composition and sketched the thing in, so I could jump right in with color-mixing a mousy brown/grey palette and begin laying down the general shapes and values. The photo shows this painting process about halfway through. I tend to start at the top and work my way down, so the road and roadsides haven't been touched yet. I decided on including a house in the middle distance as well.
I signed up for this weekend workshop class at the Beverley Street Studio School next month. Having never ever done it before, I had to purchase most of the materials - portable field easel, primed masonite panels, etc. Let's see what kind of fool I can make of myself!