I am still decompressing from the absolutely epic trip with fourteen of the nations finest painters to Provincetown, Massachusetts. We worked like dogs and partied some too. What a great trip! I learned all kinds of new things!
Above is a recent 9" by 12" painting I made, below is a photo of the location. I am not sure the photo is exactly from my position but it is from within a couple of feet anyway. Notice the enormous difference between the two.
I have simplified the scene a lot, and I have left out a lot of stuff, but I have done something more. I have set up a big pattern of light and shade, my values, and I have imposed them on the scene. I have "enslaved" my values to my design. My design is more important in the hierarchy of my painting than transcribing the actual values before me.
I wanted to simplify thew entire foreground into a big shadow shape. The benefit for me in this was that it set up my middle ground to be in a contrasting bright light. If I hadn't dropped the value of the foreground, the middleground light wouldn't have registered on the viewer. Even though I could see all of that stuff in the foreground, I deliberately "lost" it all into the big shadow shape I created.
I was asked by someone on the trip, after I had been out working on the same painting for about four hours, what I did to handle the changing light. My answer was:
I AM A PICTUREMAKER.
Because I have a formal arrangement of light and shadow that I am carrying out, the light can change some, but I won't need to follow it. I already have a pattern into which I am putting my light and shadow,. As the light changes, for the most part I will stay with it. Sometimes something really cool shows up and I alter my plan to include it, but I try to keep to my pre-designed value plan.
I worked this plan out in the first hour or so I was working on the painting, in a monotone underpainting that was pretty carefully worked up. It was almost a finished version of the painting in a single tone.
More about this tomorrow.
Snowcamp, a three day snow painting workshop, is scheduled for January 29th, 30th, 31st. Like last year, Snowcamp will again be held at the Sunset Hill House near Franconia Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Last year we braved some cold temperatures and had a lot of laughs doing it. After a day of painting in the snow, we all meet for dinner in our private dining room and enjoy the camaraderie of the other artists. This is a total immersion experience, a refrigerated boot camp.
We can walk out the inn's backdoor, and paint the panoramic views of the Whites and if our feet get cold run back inside by the fire for hot coffee. There are great locations all over this area if we want to leave the enormous grounds of the inn. Built at the turn of the last century, the inn is charming and comfortable without being too formal. I have taught three workshops there and it is an ideal venue. They also give us a special rate. This is sacred ground for American landscape painting, Bierdstadt, McEnteee and Kensett and nearly all of the other Hudson River School artists painted here in the1860's Here is the link to sign up.
I have filled one ten person workshop, and scheduled a second. The second is filling gradually. I am not sure just what it means but with one exception or so, everyone signing up is a returnee. I have 50% of last years participants back on the roster for this year. I think that is probably a recommendation for the event, if you are thinking of signing up.