Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rural Spring

UPDATE:
Yep... I did it again :) after posting a painting as a finished piece, I decided to work on it again. I really didn't like the way the road was up close. It seemed to take too much of the canvas and impose itself on the painting. So after looking it at hanging in our den for a while, I decided to take it back to the studio and do some road work :) I like it much better now. I hope you agree.

Rural Spring, Oil on canvas, 24”x36” deep edge canvas.

Winter was difficult for plein air painting this year. It seemed that almost every weekend came with either a snow storm or bitter winds or a bone chilling cold spell. I only managed to go out twice. One was a scraper and the other was a pleasant success.
I did some work in the studio though and managed to go larger than my usual size for a painting. I usually paint small because of time constraints, but lately, I have decided that it is OK if a painting takes me a few weeks to finish as long as it kept my interest and stayed spontaneous.
I had the urge to paint this one after a cold spring morning drive in rural Ontario. The light captivated me. I had no sketch book, paints or camera with me, so I parked the car and just sat their absorbing the colours, light and watching the scene change in front of my eyes. I am actually glad I couldn’t record it. I was forced to experience it and observe it fully.

Rural Spring 
Rural Spring, Oil on canvas, 24”x36” deep edge canvas.

The composition was also almost perfect, I could have sat in my car and painted the scene without the slightest correction. That weekend I went to the art store and picked up a 24”x36” Winsor and Newton deep edged canvas (the largest I have ever painted). I took it home, and after an initial sketch on  the canvas in charcoal, I started this painting.
A few weeks have passed since I first started it, and in this time I have revisited the site many times at the same time to capture the light. I deliberately did not take pictures or bring a sketch book on my subsequent visits. I was determined to make it work from impressions that stayed with me and not from recording the actual scene. I like what happened here. Admittedly the scene was not this dramatic at any one point. The light was there the mood was there but it wasn’t all there at the same time. I made it happen and that was important to me. 
The feeling I was going for was that moment when light breaks through the clouds when the whole atmosphere is pregnant with rain that is about to fall. It is not really a warm light, but rather a cold yellow one. That kind of moment is also usually hushed. Birds know that moment well. If you are in tune with nature, you will usually notice a flurry of activity from the local birds and then they all disappear. They know what is coming and they huddle somewhere to ride out the rain. I hope you enjoy it!