Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...And a Rear View!

Now that N.B. has posted her charming characterization of the artist on Horn Hill, I thought I'd post another view of her that I incorporated into a painting. I don't know what it is about her--whether it's her Western style hat or her red shoes or her stance--but she was an appealing subject. I also borrowed a photo from N.B. and painted myself into the view, though I consider myself to be ordinary in comparison.

I'm calling this Painting and Cocktails because everywhere you look on Monhegan there are artists standing in front of easels and people sitting and admiring the view while sipping cool drinks.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another View

Horn Hill Again
This painting is on a painting board I bought at a funny little art supply shop on our way up the coast. Diana (or Alex?) needed some piece of equipment for their folding easel and so we stopped at this place those two knew about from former trips. In a tiny strip mall it was part hobby shop, part craft shop, part art supply shop. I guess diversification is sometimes the key to survival!

Anyway, browsing around while the others were researching their easel issues, I decided to give this art board a whirl (it is almost impossible for an artist to enter an art supply store and not buy anything...even if its just a new pencil!) The manufacturer was some major company, like Windsor Newton: a thin piece of masonite or hardboard with a smooth oil-primed surface. I thought if it worked out, its thin width and light-weight but durable qualities would be a plus for plein air work.

Turns out I hated it. I started painting on site, Horn Hill on Monhegan, but the board's slippery smoothness did nothing for me but cause grief and annoyance. The light changed and the artist whose back view I was painting started cleaning up so I gave up too, put it away and went on to other paintings. But when I got home from Maine, even though this was just a rough start, there was something about it. I looked through my photos and yes, I had taken one of the scene right before I started to paint. So...I went on with it in the studio. Swearing and sweating for the first few days till I'd built up enough "drag" with layers of paint. Some people like to slide their brush over a smooth surface, others prefer the drag of some textured surface (c'est moi!)

There was some strange tenacity to this painting, something that insisted on being born! Sometimes you just have to give in.

Painter on Horn Hill, oil on primed board, 12 x 16 inches

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A very small, special island

A while ago our photos and paintings of Long Pond got me thinking about all my favorite places in Maine, so I thought I'd talk a little about another of my favorite places. This is one island that is very special to me. It is small, only seven acres, only a mile or so from the nearest harbor. A wonderful place for contemplation, good conversation, and painting. Here is a painting I completed last fall from a plein air study I did while on the island last summer.