Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bethesda fountain meltdown

Here is the piece I did today at the Bethesda fountain in Central Park. It was 96 degrees I think. I set up out in the sun and it was really hot. NBC news stopped by and filmed me. The first question they asked was "all of the other artists are set up in the shade, why are you out in the sun. I told them that was where the best view was.

I don't usually think of myself as a plein air one shot painter. This 11 by 14 is an actual plein air painting. It will be in the show and sale at the Cranford, New Jersey event I am attending. I will try to get some pictures of the artists who are involved in that for a future post.
I was happy to see several blog readers stop by;

Here's Rae

And below, Stapeliad. Those are both Facebook "handles". I really enjoy meeting the people who read this blog. You all post comments and we chat back and forth, but it is really fun to find out what you look like and who you are.

John Traynor who I have met painted with a time or two was nearby running a workshop, but I didn't get to see him. I am exhausted now and must sleep. Rough day.


Philip Koch said...

I love the comment about painting in the sun because that's where the best view was. So often an artist faces a choice between roasting to get the best view or merely simmering from a shaded spot and working from a slightly less excitng view.

If one has a broad brimmed hat, drinking water, and lots of moxie (my choice of words in honor of Stapleton) one really can work in the full sun. But it might be necessary to really blast the piece out at full speed just so you can pack up and get out of there before you collapse.

In a perverse way, sweating profusely as one paints can be exhilarating and can distract one from over thinking one's painting as one works. I've found the same thing with working in bitter cold- it keeps me focused on the task at hand. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but a lot of my best plein air work has come out of "difficult" conditions. And a lot of "perfect" painting weather has led to less than my best results. Go figure... said...

Painting in the desert with vermin and 110 degree temperatures or painting in NYC in 96 degree temperatures. I could make sense of the first but not the other. Good one day shot.

Lucy said...

Unbelievable! Wednesday was the one day I didn't get to your blog, so I didn't know you were in the Park! I'm almost always in the Park Wednesdays. There are a lot of great places to paint there. A little known spot is on 103rd and Fifth, where there are many beautiful flower gardens with different levels of steps and fountains. Battery Park City ihas great views of the water and New Jersey and beautiful plantings as well. It was a scorcher yesterday so I went to the Spring studio is Soho where there is a model everyday from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm. Well, I will catch you next time you are in NYC!
William Merritt Chase did some fine Park paintings too.

Unknown said...

So does this mean we will see you on TV???
Nice painting also!
I set up early morning(PERFECT WEATHER) at a popular spot near a river not far from my house.. my plan being to paint in the morning, then go for a run. Didn't bring the dogs. Changed my mind about the run sans pooches when a hiker went a little ways into the trail and came back almost immediately, having run into a mountain lion.

The smoke from the massive AZ fire is traveling several hundred miles to cause a thick haze over our area. Not too bad in the morning, but afternoons you can actually smell it and it is choking and visibility drops to nil. It creates mild atmospheric perspective in the AM, which is almost a plus, seeing as how the air is so crisp and dry you have to invent a little of that usually.

Mary Byrom said...

Stapleton, nice painting ! (even more- especially under those conditions) Good spot. With the temps rising here on the Maine coast I thought about all you painters yesterday in NYC. Ugh. I've spent summer in NY. Not my cup of tea.
The best view in full sun....often that is the case. I now get under the umbrella and paint in that situation. You are on TV ! Great...they were impressed with the big painter, big easel going for it in hot as hell Central Park. Painting and baking in polluted hot air? Hard to concentrate and not get that mood of suffering into the painting.
I'll take sub freezing temps and snow anytime...
I'm beginning to think paint outs are reminding me of reality TV... who will survive the conditions and manage to paint a decent or good painting? Who will triumph over all adversity and produce a great painting, win an award , sell everything, get the keys to the kingdom, marry the prince/princess, return home exhausted but satisfied ? Will the crowd cheer and give a thumbs up? Or will they walk away muttering to themselves they just have talent, they were born being able to paint like that....

billspaintingmn said...

Your painting and post brings me right there.
I can feel the heat and hear the water.
I can imagine the sweat and concentration to get the passages

Youv'e done so much to show us how and why, and here we can see the sum of your efforts.
I completely enjoy it! I cheer you on.
My cup runneth over with inspiration! (..kinda like that fountain you've painted) Bravo Stape!

stapeliad said...

It was great meeting you yesterday! Your painting came out great.

alotter said...

I love the painting, especially the water. If only someone had videotaped you doing it.

I have found that adversity in painting conditions contributes to my result as well. There must be an explanation for that--more intensely focussed concentration is one possible reason, or is it the desire to get it over and done with as quickly as possible? Both as posited by Philip. But in either case, why wouldn't better work result from a perfect environment and relaxed attitude?

stapeliad said...

Stape, what was the worst adverse condition? The awful heat or your cigar that stayed wrapped and un-smoked?

Teresa Cowley said...

Wonderful painting!!

barbara b. land of boz said...

Hey...I don't think the heat had any effect on your painting of this beautiful fountain. Love the colors in the water. You know how to take on a project and spit it out in spite of the heat. Thank you for the look inside a day in the park.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, it is easy to cop out and paint in the shade rather than where the view is best.

Stapleton Kearns said...;
The trip was scheduled long ago, before the weather got so hot.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That's too bad, I would have enjoyed seeing you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It was for the New York city evening news. I have no idea if they used the footage or not.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary Byrom;
Great comment, good insight, I like that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't sweat. I have no pores.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. I enjoyed meeting you. I felt as if I already knew you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don;t think it is an advantage or disadvantage. It was hot the view was only right from a sunny spot and I needed to make the picture.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The no smoking law in Central Park was the worst part, the heat I could take.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Teresa Cowley;

Stapleton Kearns said...

barbara b. land of boz;
Thanks. I can work in heat, no problem. But they have made smoking big cigars illegal. I think they give you a 200 dollar fine.I don't know if I will paint in Central Park again.