Monday, March 16, 2009
On the marshes, Charleston
Here is a location outside of Charleston, South Carolina where I was painting last week. It was about 70 degrees out and sunny. I am of course, back in New Hampshire where it is not so warm.
I set up my Gloucester easel and stuck a 24x36 on it and went to work with a brush about the size of a broom.
To the left you see the actual scene. I will discuss briefly how I have "bent" this landscape.
I SELECT AND HANG THE VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF THE LANDSCAPE BEFORE ME ONTO A SCAFFOLD CALLED DESIGN. I INVENT THIS SCAFFOLD MYSELF, RATHER THAN FINDING IT IN NATURE.
Here is what I made. This is the result of about 4 hours of work I will document how I process this piece in the studio in a followup series of posts .
The photo shows an equal distribution of the mass of trees and houses and the water. I altered this so that there was an uneven but balancing amount of each. I am arranging the trees and houses into a large grouped mass that I will try to present as one large and interesting shape. I will need to pull these together more in the studio. I have begun to work out a sort of tracery of the trunks and branches in the live oaks on the right as part of this shape. I think the tall house in back is going to be a problem to which I will have to find a solution.
I have dropped the horizon because the big sky gives a feeling of being in the low country and is often a useful thing to do in the marshes.You will find the Dutch painters from the previous posts doing this and I learned it from studying them. They have a lot to teach us. I will continue to dissect old paintings for answers to our own painting problems as I continue this blog.
I have simplified and reshaped the sand patches in the foreground so that they point to the house and tree mass that will be my subject. In nature I felt that shape was too sharp and dagger like so I softened its thrust a little. I have warmed up the color in the marsh and pushed it away from being too green. Green is often way too prevalent in landscape painting and I do a lot of things to lessen it.
Tomorrow or the next day I will begin the studio part of my work on this painting. I will post that and explain what I am doing to it, and why.