I wanted to capture that faint, gingerly light that first casts itself over the barn area. Doable since it was another humid day and the sun was hazy behind a thin veil of clouds. My scene is still in shadow with a creeping, subdued light to the right.
|Four Pines, 11"x14", oil on panel (sold)|
This is Barn 49, Michael Trombetta's barn. Michael is a Maryland-based trainer who consistently finishes close to the top of the trainer's standing every year. He sent up a small string in the care of some very capable help. A young man named William is the hotwalker who I tried to depict and he is over six feet tall. Patient and gentle with his horses, he displayed some excellent horsemanship even when a filly went ballistic while being bitten by a fly.
Here's what I've learned so far for every day I've plein air painted the barn area.
- If I made four hundred paintings instead of forty, I would still never run out of inspiring subject matter here on the backside.
- Pay attention when closing the top of the brush cleaner. It will pinch the bejeebers out of a finger and neatly slice skin now requiring bandaids for the rest of the week.
- There is a little know-it-all voice in my head that says things like "don't fool with this", "I told you to leave it alone", "now you've made a mess" "oh great, go back and fix it".
- I really can paint from memory. As a life-long studio painter who utilizes all manner of reference material, this was a wonderful revelation. What a good exercise for keeping the ol' noggin' sharp.
- I'm very pleased with the enthusiastic response I've received. People are very curious about what I'm doing and are supportive and encouraging. They think I'm nuts, but they're intrigued.
- There is no substitute for painting from life. None. No photograph can provide the amount of information that a set of eyes can see. I'm becoming an obsessive convert.
I want you to know that I'm baring my artistic soul here. I'm a newbie at this plein air painting and there are days when I struggle. There will be some paintings that I probably shouldn't post but maybe you can take something from my mistakes as I know I'm learning every day. At the end of the forty days, I will be a different painter.
With all sincerity,