Monday, September 29, 2014

"The Ultimate in Peace and Solitude-" Lake Champlain, VT

"Afternoon glow" 11x14 oil

my painting spot!
Causeway crossing 11x14 oil
Majestic Solitude 12x24 oil

I was fortunate to spend a week on Lake Champlain in Vermont far north of  the noise and bustle of Burlington. In the morning I enjoyed watching the loons glide undisturbed as I had my first cup of coffee. I was even fortunate to observe a great show put on by a group of 11 baby loons. I decided to add loons to one painting as it gave it a sense of place. A few times during the week I saw a sailboat go by. In the evening my daughter and I enjoyed paddleboarding on the glass like surface all alone and undisturbed.  I decided to add the sailboats to the panoramic painting since they were the norm and I didn't see any other paddle boarders all week. I wanted to keep the focus on the distant mountains and the mood and feeling of the spot and not make the loons or boats the subject matter of the paintings. During the day I set up my easel and paints and painted in the morning facing the causeway that joined the mainland to the Islands. The sun would rise behind the Adirondacks which created a beautiful constantly changing skyline in the distance. The misty purples and blues were captivating and I tried to capture the serenity the place evoked. After a mid-day break for lunch and a long walk to photograph the surrounding area, I would return and set up facing in the opposite direction. Afternoons were for painting the rocky shoreline and the glow created by the setting sun. I exaggerated the blue violets with the warm oranges to heighten the effect. By the end of the week I was in love with Milton, VT.  I may have to return to paint some of the amazing sunsets that we enjoyed each evening directly across the lake.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's all about the light!

"Afternoon Glow" 16x20 oil-Rock Harbor, Cape Cod, MA

One of our rituals when on vacation is to find the "perfect place" for viewing sunrise and sunsets. The hour before is a glow of great shadows, strong light and a warmth that inspires. Rock Harbor provides a multitude of great views with almost sculptural marshes, distant land masses that seem to dissolve on the horizon and a channel where boats come in at last light silhouetted against the purples, blues, reds and oranges of brilliant sunsets reflected in the ocean.  What caught my eye on this particular afternoon was the yellow orange marsh contrasting with the blue violets of the shadows and distant trees. The people strolling on the clam flats were all waiting for the sunset and gave scale to the painting along with the house being struck by a strong last light. I loved the abstract feeling of the distant masses juxtaposed with the detail in the foreground, but most of all, it was all about the light!