Thursday, January 5, 2012

Capturing the cold, crisp winter light from the cozy studio

I am working on an acrylic painting for the Painting the Winter Show at the Thousand Islands Arts Center. The subject is the view from our dock at camp looking down toward the spot where our bay opens up into the lake. Long blue shadows stretch across the frozen lake, creating a beautiful web-like effect over the ice.
Since the thought of actually standing out in the frigid North Country working plein air does not appeal to me, I am painting from the cozy warm studio. Which of course means I am working from a photograph. I have underpainted in complementary colors, so there is a bit of warm orange peaking out here and there through the cool blue, creating a type of dynamic tension. The moment I observe this, is when I believe I depart from the photograph and let the painting take over. Occasionally I will go back to the photo for reference, but it no longer needed as much as when I am figuring out perspective and proportion. It is now time to let the painting stand alone. I am not making a painting of the photo, I am interpreting the winter landscape.
The painting isn't done yet, but here is the photo I worked from. Should be interesting to compare the two when I have finished the painting.

And here's a painting from a couple of years ago...another interpretation of the Winter Landscape.

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