Friday, April 16, 2010

One out of Three Ain't Bad

Friday rolls around and its usually a good day to paint for me. Week's almost over and I don't try to make any plans for Friday. I told Tim we'd paint tomorrow at nine, Friday. He was fine with it. It was my turn to buy breakfast. Lincoln Square is a local spot where we like to eat. Breakfast most of the time are specials posted on a whiteboard at the entrance. The usual it's eggs over easy, hash browns crisp, links and English muffin dry. Oh yeah, decaf with honey. Tim gets the same except scrambled eggs. We get away, finally, about ten. It's his turn to drive so its up to him to pick the spot where we are going to paint. He says he hates to decide as he could drive around the rest of the day. In spite of this wandering, he always knows exactly where we are.

We are driving around with a blue sky and westerly breeze that slowly cools down, clouds up the sky. A threat of rain grows more real by the minute. After thirty minutes we pass through Rich Valley and start following the Wabash River. Tim wants to paint a large sycamore. He pulls the car over in front of a cluster of large trees: two hackberries, a sycamore and a cottonwood. The bark on the cottonwood looks like corduroy pants on a giant scale.

I really am not getting any landscape image which interests me. That isn't much of a problem. If I have to I can paint my legs for a subject. The road direction we just came from turns to the left and a few houses are surrounded by a small thin woods along the river. Everything is that new pale green new growth makes in the trees and undergrowth. I've decided again today to make this painting with the three colors I used yesterday. I like to use these colors because I can be more involved with the shapes and way the pieces of the landscape come together like sculpture. I am more and more sculpting in two dimensions with shapes that exist spatially from the front to the back of the picture plane. I am not specifically working atmospherically since these spaces are more shallow than. Sculpture fir me is more real than painting as an art form but I am still a painter. That's okay.

Tim has settled down in front of the four, three foot diameter trees and starts to work. He starts laughing as he is sitting about four feet in front of them. I think he is laughing because he can't see the tree copse from the individual trees, him being too close. He resettles again across the road almost in a plowed field. I notice he is focused today a lot more than I am. Several cars pass and slow down to see what we are doing. That's all though; they just slow down.

The sky has turned to a cool, drizzle, pale gray. The colors I'm using bright as they are and being place together still seem to be painted over black. The lack of light sucks out the color. However, the effect that is working with the color is that I mixing more and more of the three together mudding the color but also it produces a shallower flatter space simplifying the shapes like a stage of flat landscape shapes, a diorama.

Tim's pastel is textured trees with a similarly textured sky of the same slurry of color that makes the sky look hard with its cloud covered flat lighting. Black and white photographs work well on this kind of muted light day. When we wrap it up I take a closer look a his work. He likes what I did but doesn't say much except that the color has such contrast yet still doesn't reflect a strongly lit sky. I like his color mixtures which make his sky look metallic in its hardness and his composition which ordinarily wouldn't work because it is a straight line of four trees.

On the way back to my house, we both agree that it wasn't a bad day for one out of three. The weather went to the crapper, the paintings were okay...but breakfast was a grand slam. Not bad for a day in the great outdoors.

See you next time in the Great Outdoors


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