Monday, December 03, 2012

Go to the Light

I've been fortunate to gypsy around the country with my horse-trainer husband Michael. As I scrutinize contemporary masters to expand my subject and, in the process, hopefully improve my painting skills, I've become so mindful of the light in all it's glorious lumens.

Now I'm in the north country and it's...oh so different. As winter encroaches, the sun is a diluted watery thing that mostly hangs out behind a veil of clouds. And not for long! It drops behind the tree line before 4:00 pm which makes for a very short day (and in summer the opposite makes for little time to star-gaze). With a rare, clear sun, the light produces long shadows all day long. Weird.

3:30 pm
Michael has asked why an artist would want to plein air paint here in December. Everything's brown and dead, he observes. Well, everything is more like resting and it's about a sense of place. The weak light is particular to this region at this time of year and I'm enjoying the seasons (even though snow still...STILL!... eludes us).

Holsteins, oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Because I sold the first little cow painting unframed and still wet, of course I had to paint another. It was overcast but I wanted to color the cloudy sky. The bare trees in the background say winter even though the grass oddly stays so green around here freeze after freeze. I added a slight indication of shadow to add dimension even though there were none and used a palette knife to create the hay in the mud. The cows are brightly lit in an un-sunny way.

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