Tuesday, October 7, 2008


That snappy fall weather came early in our part of Alabama. The AlabamaPleinAir Artists met in Courtland and had every opportunity to paint houses, Tennessee River, dogs, cotton, the town square, barns - anything quaint was just waiting to be discovered.
A painting start 9x12, oil- morning in the yard of our hosts. How do you catch glory? Each day had a sunny promise. An outdoor painter learns a way of paring down the scene to arrive at the essence of what we see ( or so we hope).
Around 2 or 3 one afternoon found me facing the golden soybeans, a grain storage facility, and the railroad track in the distance.
This is mid stage Soybeans 12x16, oil on linen panel. I'm standing in the shade for two reasons. I must wear sunglasses, which changes the values ( how dark my eyes read the scene). It also is an easy way to keep the sun off the canvas while painting. That would also change the outcome of values. I saw subtleties of color - violet, sandy browns and silvery greens harmonizing with the almost white dirt road. The finished version shows a little of a turquoise metal building in the trees.
Another morning with one of the group of painters. They scouted this irresistable scene. The time is about 7 in the morning, so we had dressed and had a minimal breakfast before getting here. Cotton was planted in the discance. In about an hour I had painted to this stage:12x16, Cotton Valley, oil on linen panel, $525 framed in soft silver.
The mountain ridge behind the distant trees glowed with a beautiful blue. That's what caught my eye. Warming the sky with light red set it off, and it doesn't show well in this photo. Minor tweaking improved it when I viewed it off the easel.

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