While study with Ted Georschner last year, I stayed at a Motel 6 in Buelton (outside Solvang). I captured the “golden light” view from my room. I was too tired to paint, but did this little painting (8×10) when I got home. I project images from my digital camera on a TV in my studio. It really helps to illuminate the image. Painting from photos is really a drag. The darks all become black, and the highlights all average out. Much better to paint from a project image.
I’ve just finished Kevin MacPherson’s new book, “Reflections on a Pond“, and like all great art books it will be re-read many times until dog-eared and worn. That’s a complement! The book contains one painting for every day of the year of the view of a pond outside his home in New Mexico. Imagine, trying to come up with 365 paintings of the same scene! He pulls it off, and in so teaches a lesson about observation.
You can look at the same site, day after day, and see something different. Of course light changes, weather, and so on–and those changes are obvious. But the series of images demonstrate how the artist really brings the subject to life, by conveing a point of view, or an emotional response. I also found the book a good lesson in subtlety. You can see how incredibly sensitve the artist as by the careful observation and emotion in every paitning. I’ve been thinking of painting a similar series because I can see there are some real lessons to be learned here. There’s a good spot off 280/Edgewood Road that I’m considering, although it’s a rest stop, so not open 24×7. We’ll see. In the meantime, in the coming weeks, I’ll post some of my own paintings that hopefully show I’ve learend something from this great American master.