Wednesday, June 30, 2010

South Jersey and the Art Spirit.

This is the image I saw on my ceiling as I opened my eyes on this past Sunday morning, at 7 a.m.
As usual on the weekend, I'd planned to visit my Dad, but this beautiful,  welcoming
spectrum of color was, for me, an invitation from the "Art Spirit," to also go painting.

Throughout our years of marriage, my wife Louise would kid me about knowing every country
road in South Jersey. Having traveled the roads is one thing, but venturing out  to find a spot
that is waiting to be painted, and with the right light, is a whole different "mind-set." I came over
a rise, (yes, there actually are hills in S.J) and saw these back-lit outbuildings, and pulled over.

As I set up my easel I was glad that I was getting an early start on what was to be another
hot and humid day. A gentle breeze was moving across the expanse of fields, and the distant
sounds of children's voices...and an insistent crow on the humming wires above my head,
told me I was not the only creature up and about on this beautiful Sunday morning.

And on weekends in S. Jersey, there are always the bikers.
A few asked if I needed help, thinking at first that my car surely had broken down.

Just before actually starting to paint, I usually do a small  "Value Study." It functions as a little road map and reminder, as the light continues to change, of what it is that initially made me want to paint a particular subject. It's the building of the cake, before any thoughts of icing.

In a very graphic sense, here is what I am concerned with. This is the abbreviated "value scale" I use, to interpret the various degrees of "lights and darks" that are in the subject, and eventually, in my painting of that subject. The first square is white, or the very lightest "Lights." The next square is the "Lightest Mid-Value," the next is the "Darkest Mid-Value," and finally, The "Darkest Darks," in the composition. None of this is written in stone, but it gets my brain heading in the right direction. You can see this thought process in the sketch, above. And that's my lesson for the day, to all you non-artists.

And after about an hour and a half of pleasureable painting, here is the finished water color.
I liked it. The crow seemed to have liked it, and my  Muse liked it.
Life is good.                                                                                 (Water color  8-1/2  X 11" $110.00)

1 comment:

  1. Didn't John Singer Sargent say you should just sit down and paint whatever is in front of your eyes?

    I miss the contrasting verticals and the balancing car on the right of yr first photo...
    Also the roof is so contrasty in the photo, but the blue of the sky intrudes and matches the buildings for me..not like the interesting geometry of the photo above...