Quick Chix

Last week, I tried to do quick, impressionist sketches working directly with pen and ink, followed by wash.

 

Sadly, a few days later, my lovely Amelia was snatched by a predator at dusk. I am heartbroken, left with just a few feathers….sometimes, life on the farm is tragic….

Scenes from Belleville

I spent yesterday at the Hameau Farm artists’ retreat, organized by Susan Nicholas Gephart, who was there to offer professional guidance along with James Farrah. It was a bit overcast, but the sun did come out for a while. I painted a number of subjects, but spent most of the afternoon producing two variations on a pasture.

The first (and ultimately more successful, I think) had a bit of help from James, after I went to him asking for help in rescuing my work. As usual, I was struggling with values, and, as he pointed out, also had problems with chroma. Some magical strokes later, the work suddenly made sense again. I went back to it today and softened a few of the dark edges, and added just a bit more color to the fall foliage.

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The second version I started after my ‘rescue’ consultation, trying a few techniques that James suggested, including painting skies and washes with the side of my brush, and adding more intensity to the sky. (Of course, in this version, it ended up a bit too intense!) But it was a good exercise, and I want to explore this a bit more in the coming weeks. I also need to figure out how to better ground the cows, without getting too focused on their immediate surroundings….

hameau-2-161007sm

The Sentry

I often walk by this lone ‘snag’ sitting in a field near my home. I think of it as a sentry, watching the seasons change and the skies move overhead.

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A couple of weeks ago it was a rather misty morning, and though I didn’t get to capture that view, I felt that a loose color blend was in order to at least remind me of the feel of that morning.

Silo

I’ve begun to get back to drawing and painting structures recently. Though not strictly part of the ‘natural’ world, many of these abandoned or isolated structures do feel as if they are returning to the earth…

This wonderful silo is quite near my house, and I often walk by it. I’ve been doing some studies of it, in preparation for a larger painting when I get the use of my right arm back.

bird dog silo _Jan study 1sm

bird dog silo _Jan study 2sm

bird dog silo studies 2bsm

There is just something about this that haunts me. Not sure where these explorations will go, but I am intrigued by the possibilities!