Friday, May 14, 2010

A Rhode Island garden

Here is a painting I made this week down in Rhode Island. Add another state to this years tally, I was in Connecticut before that......

Because it was spring foliage I changed up my technique a little and pixilated the painting in Metcalf like brushwork. I used to paint this way a lot, but recently I have been painting more broadly with larger brushes. This was all done with a #4 soft nylon brush.

Here is a detail of the tree on the right. This was painted in one go, I didn't want to lose the airy fluttering brushstrokes by hitting them twice. The whole painting is one brushstroke thick. There are little spots of canvas showing between the brushstrokes here and there. The painting is high key enough that they are nearly invisible. I drew a few lines in burnt sienna and then laid it in pretty much from one side to the other. I tried to place each brushstroke separate from its neighbor of the same color. That looks like colored rice and has a quivering look.

Here is a detail showing the trellis and the house on the distant shore. The house was actually a modern octagonal T111 sheathed unit, I turned it into a period cape. There were no roses on the trellis.

Here is the right hand corner of the painting. There were lilacs but they were actually outside of the picture so I cheated them in. I don't know if it is bothersome having roses and lilacs blooming at the same time but I liked the color over there. There is lots of cobalt violet sprinkled around this passage and the whole painting. That's my favorite color outside in the summer. It is an anti green and makes the darks down in the bottoms of my shadows hot and glowing. I use it almost straight out of the tube.This painting was two long days of furious work. I also fooled with it a little in the studio.

I have a nice gold frame for this 26 by 29 inch painting and will now varnish it and send it back to Lily Pad gallery in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.


Caroline Peña Bray said...

Great stuff! Thanks for the commentary, it's a real treat to have a glimpse inside another artist's mind to see how they work. I was particularly interested in how you add and subtract or change things that about the scene before you to make it a better picture. Like Canaletto changing the water and architecture of Venice to suit his aesthetic desires. It's something I should be less afraid of doing.

A good painting too, I like it's freedom, expression and grains of 'coloured rice'. Awesome. said...

Shedding cats? An opportunity to make your own paint brushes.

You caught spring there. Time to go tend to Newton Open Studios. Willek should be arriving any moment. Make beautiful paintings today.

billspaintingmn said...

That is one fine painting!
(I like it when the talk can walk.)
Those leaves on the right is visual piano music to me.
That sky has depth, the water is
It's mood and temperature says spring.
I do not think a flaming phone booth is needed here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stape, This is great, loved the discription and the detail. I am still driving over the mountains to the coast to paint with my 'rugged' outdoor group, mostly young guys from the movie studio and gaming industry trying to improve their realistic drawing/painting skills. The skills they didn't receive in their 'higher education'! When I got their last weekend I thought they were kidding me, it was on the side of a busy highway with a barbed wire fence and no tresspassing signs from the water department,(a WD truck came by stopped and waved his OK!) The scene was just green trees and snaggly dead trees with a few hills peaking through.That was the job make something out of nothing, wow is this group stretching me, I can feel my brain twisting! I put a little S shaped road in, as you have showed us, and a hole in the trees to shade it to create a center of interest. Parts of it are painted pointellist and parts broadly. It has potential. After seeing this I am going to do some more work on it. I got a website but I can't figure out how to use it. When are you going to start doing your critics again, I could probably figure out how to e-mail a picture. They don't mind a greatgrandmother coming along as long as I bring food! Many thanks you are mentoring me and so many others, giving us a roadmap to persue the pictures we see in our dreams! Terry

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Beautifully atmospheric piece, Stape.

barbara b. land of boz said...

What you did looks amazing. I once stippled a salt water croc and I thought I would never finish. I have not tried this method of painting, you really seem to make the scene come alive.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Todd Bonita said...

...."This whole painting is one brushstroke thick"....I never thought of a painting in these terms, very interesting to me. Sometimes hearing a quick quote like that can make me think about my own work in a different way.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good luck with the open studio.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. I am still unsure on the phone booth option.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is nice how painting can transcended the age groups I routinely painted with old guys when I was young and learned a lot from them.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. The picture is probably softer than the painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Actually it is a pretty rapid method for working outside.

Stapleton Kearns said...

One brush stroke thick is almost always a good thing. I don't often get it though.

Anonymous said...

I find your latest paintings delightful and fun. At first, it put me off, as many good art does because I don't immediately understand it. Same impacet a
Repin had on me in moscow. After studying it, I sat down and wept. Your painting drew me in slowly, I enjoyed the movement of the strokes and their color and softness. Remmeniscent of Sisley or monet.
Vivi Anne comment on thinking about the client when you paint bothered me. Sometimes I have trouble thinking what I want to paint, let alone clients, galleries, the masses, etc. I need to focus on my contribution, simply my own way that others may not like, and that is okay. My offering or statement comes from inside my own soul ( whenever I happen to find it) , not trying to figure out what Joe Client may want for their inner soul. Enough already. Silvio

Sharron Boxenbaum said...

Really enjoy reading your posts. "A Rhode Island Garden" is lovely and reading your thought process was very interesting. "This whole painting is one brush stroke thick" was fascinating to me. I can achieve that in some areas of my canvas - but never overall. Guess it's something to strive for.