Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hangin' With the Buoys, no.2

Hangin' with the Buoys, no. 2 is the acrylic version of a subject I have painted three times so far. And, I can probably paint them again and again because this little still life at the end of the lake never seems to change much from year to year. The first two paintings were done in watercolor, one from a distance and the other a close-up view very similar to this painting. In the watercolor version of Hangin' with the Buoys, much of the detail is left out and some subject matter such as the rocks and water are implied, rather than painted. My goal in that painting was to paint the path of light that flowed through the trees and over the buoys. In painting the watercolor, I often painted the negative space around the main subject matter, allowing the focal point to emerge in the unpainted or lightly washed areas. The acrylic painting has a completely different approach to the very same scene. Again, the path of light is important, but the emphasis is on the whole scene rather than just the buoys. And the shadows in this painting play a much more important role than they did in the watercolor. Our eyes are led to the shadows which create a strong contrast to the light colored buoys, and they emphasize the focal point. In this painting, trees, rocks and water are more clearly defined; we are more able to picture ourselves in this scene where more information has been given to us. The emphasis however, is on the buoys and they have been given more detail than the surrounding trees, rocks and water. The white buoys reflect so many of the colors in their surroundings. I have to admit, I loved adding the shadows and sun-dappled effect on the buoys, adding bits of yellow, magenta, blues and greens. Looking at this scene and especially concentrating on the large buoy, full of blue/purple shadows and subtle streaks of yellow, I feel like I am back at the lake, sitting in my kayak, watching the sun and water send bits of reflected light onto the shoreline. Sometimes we have a goal which we hope to achieve in a painting; sometimes the painting just takes on a life of it's own. I had planned a more impressionistic look for this painting, but somehow, the painting took over and a more realistic look emerged. Perhaps it is because I am painting this scene in Autumn, usually a time of reflection for me. As the summer weather dwindles down to a few warm days here and there and the chill of winter approaches, I need to hold onto the memories of the sun on my back, the splash of my paddle in the water, the loon calling in the distance and the ever present still life at the end of the lake.

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