Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CHASING LIGHT - A Series of Landscape Studies - 2015



So over the winter, I had come across this humorous article by the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/a-few-thoughts-from-monet-on-those-stacks-of-wheat

It was so funny to read some of the thoughts that Monet wrote in his journal about his "stacks of wheat" paintings. Then I remembered reading about him taking out his stacks of canvases to paint a new painting every time the light changed.  I have to confess, I am not a Monet expert, neither am I really a huge fan of his work- but something about his idea and his dedication to study and work ethic, truly inspired me.  I realized what resolve was within him that he took out a stack of canvases determined to complete each one as ardently as he could. Also when I read his quote " I would like to paint the way a bird sings", I decided he had to be pretty great and I overlooked him.


So, I set me course of action - an achievable goal (ha!.....little did I know how difficult it would be).

10 Locations x 6 paintings throughout the day = 60 paintings

They are little, 6"x8" or 8"x10", nothing too grandiose. Just humble scenery that for whatever reason I feel drawn too.  I don't know if people will enjoy this and frankly that's really never the point.  I always hope so, and it's always disappointing if they don't.....but mostly I am doing this because I have to.  Because I have to do something different from my usual routine.  Just like with the sunrise paintings last year, I want to be changed by this- be rejuvenated - be in each and every painting and give all that I have to it.  I hope that I will grow. 

So here is my first scene that I painted.  I was driving around on Route 66 outside of Edmond,OK in a little town called Arcadia.  I love it out here, it feels like home- with lots of farm land, hay fields, old white wood houses, barns, cows and ponds.  As much as I adore being next to the ocean, this scenery is in my bones and just feels good to look at. What can I say, you can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can't......you get the idea.  I decided, I would start with this simple grove of trees.

Here are the results of that scene from sunrise to sunset. I sure hope you enjoy :)

Sunrise!  Always a challenge to capture that fast changing light....30 minutes and it's totally different. But it is one of the most gorgeous times of day. I just can't get enough of that soft peachy color in the morning sky. The challenge is waking up early enough and being "awake enough" to think. 

Morning! Between the hours of 8-10 a.m.  Usually you still get some beautiful strong lights and shadows, but in this case it was an overcast morning - still some residue form all that crazy rain we had here!

Noon -  The heat isn't totally bleaching out all of the colors yet at noon and you get that gorgeous clear blue sky and puffy clouds.  I like the colors in this one and tried to capture the gesture of the clouds and trees.

Afternoon - The sun is highest in the sky and blazing hot. I tried to change up my composition by adding the little trees on the right.  This was a hard scene to paint and I kept breaking out the how to books. Which by the way I strongly recommend any of Kevin McPherson's books, but I love this one:http://www.amazon.com/Fill-Your-Paintings-Light-Color/dp/1581800533  

Evening - Ahhh, again beautiful soft colors that were so inspiring. This one was an 8x10 so I tried to see if I could get a bit more refinement than the others. 

Sunset- This one is probably my favorite, although not very resolved. I did another 8x10 for the sunset, which the light changed so fast -it really challenged my memory.  The sun was setting behind me and throwing the most stunning hot orange light on the tree trunks. The cools and warms are simply a fascinating thing to see. 
 
I hope you will follow along with me for the next 9 spots! 
If you can support me financially in this project, please go to my Kickstarter Campaign to pledge. I am trying to raise a fraction of the costs that it takes for me to complete this.
 
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As always Thank you!

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