Thursday, October 1, 2009

Painting on location over several sessions

Larger works painted on location often require multiple trips to the same spot, over a period of days, to achieve an adequate level of completion. I've always thought that was not my style. Because, surely, my mood would be different on the following session and mess everything up. Stifling my true art spirit.

Well, I decided to give it a try. Last week I spent the day starting two 18x24" paintings. Put in about three or three and a half hours on this first one and about two on the second, which is not posted here yet. I went back another morning about two days later when the weather was similar. Same start time, eleven a.m.
There was a bad little head cold that beat my butt for a few days. Then yesterday I worked for two hours on this one in the studio. Today I took it back out to the same spot where I had left rocks to mark the positions of my easel legs and had another three hours painting session with it.

The above photo is how things looked this morning at eleven when I had things set up and was ready to go.
I really love these pink-red-white-light yellow grasses this time of year that catch the light just right and have different colors depending how you look at them. They can really light up a hillside or field at the right time of day.

This picture is how it looked this afternoon when I got it back home. I can see a few things that I still want to tweak, but I won't need the actual scene in front of me to work it out.

Hey, what do you know. I like taking the same painting back for several sessions. I feel like Sam I am after finally eating some Green Eggs and Ham.

It won't work for certain fleeting light effects or other similar situations where "capturing the unique moment, raw feeling, light affect thing" is what I'm after. There is some sort of freshness that I love about alla prima paintings done all in one go. But, I'll be exploring working larger outdoors for sure. 30x40 here I come.

This is a picture I snapped while painting this morning. It is the same two trees that are in the left side of the painting. Shows how tall those grasses are. That has been one of the toughest parts in this and I'm not sure it's quite there just yet. They would be a great device for letting you know just how tall that grass really is. Glad they did not pass by while I was blocking this one in or I would have tried to paint them in. Too late now because it would change everything. Maybe in another painting.

Marc Hanson has been doing some great large paintings over several sessions lately. If you have not seen them you should check out his blog. There is a link in my blogroll to the side if you're not familiar with his blog.