Monday, October 8, 2007

Tilly Foster Farm Paintings 2007

These are images from Tilly Foster Farm in Putman County. The sky was blue, the weather was picture perfect. It is a horse farm, so I had a different sort of audience. As I was painting in acrylic, trying out this stuff in the open air it made this truly a new painting experience.These are the paintings of that day, and the next- when felt compelled to return to the scene. All are done in acrylic materials in an effort to challenge myself and see what would happen. It is good to shake up ones presumptions about paint, especially when the spirit moves one to do so.

I painted on top with the new acrylics. I did not cover all the "mysterious" passages that worked so well with the view of the pond reflections. I use this approach with pastels, when such an under painting shortens the time to build up the surface. I am impatient in pastel, these days, and need to get something on the surface fast (making an under painting of the subject using water color, or acrylics or latex paints so I can get to the drawing/painting part that I enjoy). It makes for a more complex, surface rich, less academic approach. This is actually done over an under painting (which is often created ahead of time in the studio) abstracted form loosely resembling a landscape with acrylic and latex paints.

See my Pastel Landscapes at

Pretty much plein air, two hour sketch, although I think I color enhanced this in the studio later with over glazes. What I liked in these long views was my ability to keep my values crisp and clean. The fast/slow dry of the materials made it more difficult to blend everything into less distinct values, which typifies my oil work. So this worked very well for me. This was a fast sketch, and the looseness is kept throughout the piece.

I reworked it in the studio, and color enhanced the painting later. I use the computer to help me see the possibilities if I go in one direction or another. I can explore value corrections, and color enhancement that I do not see on sight. I think it makes for a different painting, more complex, I am removed from the "scene" and concentrate on making a good painting instead of being slavish to what I do or do not see en plein air.

As a realist, working from life, it is fun to get looser, work with color and go where the painting itself may take me. While I love oil for the lush stroke, I liked this medium for the fast layering, and ability to continue painting in the studio, while the image is in my mind, although for me, the paintings are different then my norm. This new stuff forced me to be more playful, and explore the materials, and my painting process, in a different way.

Quick look new stuff/ and how it is still ME. This is really not a switch to abstract art, it is still landscape, but with the tools and manipulations of my decorative painting career as the means to create the subject. I am passing through this, it is fun, and it is going somewhere. I think???

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