Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New paintings for the beginning of autumn

Park Planter
Oil on board, 16 x 12 inches.
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Here are some paintings from the last few weeks. They're all plein air pieces that were shown at The Grackle Gallery in Fort Worth last Saturday.

Arlington Neighborhood
Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches.
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I couldn't resist painting this neighborhood. The way all the houses are jumbled up makes for such a variety of shapes, with slashes of lights and shadow.

Fall Landscape, Dawn
Oil on board, 12 x 9 inches.
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I wanted to play with edges in this picture. I liked the idea of incorporating the old portrait painting adage of, "paint the hands as they appear when you're looking at the head." That is, using a kind of selective focus to mimic human vision -- to direct your attention to a given spot. I focused near the horizon and tried to paint the trees in the periphery as they looked with my eyes fixed on the horizon.

It's an interesting idea I want to play with more. I thought of it as I asked myself, "How would Vermeer paint a landscape?" There are no known landscapes by Vermeer, but he did paint two cityscapes. He was a master at pulling off this kind of work in his edges. William Paxton learned to emulate it in his portrait paintings from Vermeer as well.

Old Man's House
Oil on board, 11 x 14 inches.
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A gentleman stopped and spoke to me from his car while I was painting this one. He said when he was a kid in the 60s, a prominent landowner lived in this house. The landowner told him, "call me Old Man ___" (I forget his name). So, I thought it was fitting to call it "Old Man's House." The reflection of the grass onto the side of the house was fun to try and capture. I really liked the dark mass of the house juxtaposed against the bright morning sky, and the way it seemed to be very firmly planted into the hilltop.