Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Painting Large in the Marsh

OK. Time for true confessions. A while back I used to paint large abstract paintings indoors in a studio.  Then I went out doors to paint landscapes - all the time.  When I studied for two years with Scott Christensen  I painted small paintings - "starts" - hundreds of "starts" outdoors. 

Last year a friend of mine, Stapleton Kearns suggested I paint large paintings again - outdoors.  Plus, Marcus had been bugging me forever to paint large again....so I started to think in that direction. Well, one day it just happened... I was painting in Wells Harbor in the afternoon. As it was moving toward sunset I liked the misty light on the marsh.   

 I parked along the edge of the marsh on Harbor Road. I set up my easel. It was so peaceful and quiet Marcus decided to practice Falun Gong. Here he is doing an exercise called Falun Cosmic Orbit, it is a series of slow, smooth movements. He's standing near me in a nice spot with a view of the salt pans.

I looked at the view then pulled out a small 9x12 panel, then a 11x14 then I dug deeper into my car studio and pulled out my BIG panels!  Oh no! The only one that would fit on my Easy L was  the 15 x30. So I went with it and threw on the paint fast, with a big brush. 

What a relief it was to paint on a large canvas out doors. There was enough room to say something!

I was having a really good time. So of course the wind picked up and my little easel started to sail away...I had to move it in closer to the back of my car out of the full blast of the wind.

The sky started to do some nice things.  Then I heard a voice behind me taking about me . I glanced around and saw a trolley stopped right in middle of the road. The driver was explaining to the passengers what I was doing  and everyone was leaning out of the open sides looking at me and the painting.   

A guy yelled from the back of the trolley, "I'll buy it!"  I yelled back, "It's not done! "  I turned and went back to painting. I was loosing my light so no time to hang out and chat. 

The sky just kept getting better!   A few moments later a van pulled up and the driver - called out, "Acrylics?"  "No", I said, " oils".   He then said, "Alla prima?  You are good! " (Now I'm getting the educated passerby, I'm thinking... I paused to ask him if he was a painter; no, high school art teacher)

I love painting big ....but I'm finding it does cause traffic to stop... more tales to come...


  1. Beautiful sunsets and wonderful start to your painting. Love your work.