Friday, September 16, 2016

The Palette of Autumn

From Porch to Weibels, 4 3/4 x 5 1/2" pastel on book page
The first thing I do when I begin is to compose the image with my hands. Sometimes I realise I need something more to make the composition interesting, or a colour to move my eye around.  This view was very green and I had prepared a book page that was slightly horizontal. What I wanted was something slightly portrait, so I began imagining how I could jiggle reality to make the compostion work but be believable. Then I went in to select something colourful to hang over the porch. 

I chose my colours after that, I ended up with 12 colours and white. I'm blending colours on the page more than I used to and I seem to be working a bit closer to the colours I see. You need yellow greens and reds at this time of year and that's fun to explore.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Off Season Views

From Kathy's Garden, Pastel on paper 6x6"

When I was a child I came to Maine off season as well as in high season. In the winter, early spring and thanksgiving my friends and I would roam everywhere and the island felt like we owned it.  Coming to Cranberry off season, (but only just) and as an adult I find that I am tempted to look for new views, from places I would usually need to ask permission to draw from.

Today I walked down to Kathy's and stood near her porch.  It was hot and bright and clear, late afternoon and I chose eight colours. Again I wished I'd had another green but resisted.  Donna came down to 'keep the garden alive' and at about 5pm I felt the betweenness come together and I walked home. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Finding the balance in shifting light

From Deck to Barn, pastel on paper 6 x 6"

On a sunny day, midday, the light paints lines across the grass as quickly as you can note them in pastel, and then they shift. 

The way I work is to get an overall impression across the page and then to measure the betweenness over and over until the whole thing feels right. That shifting light is a real challenge. And which moment to try to freeze time is always the trick. I read somewhere that you could tell the weather by Constable's skies.  My time and light is not nearly as exact and I am really interested in the colours and the shapes, not recording things accurately so much. My time is a shifting time. 

Today I enjoyed the loose way I was seeing things.  Before I began I decided to foreshorten the lawn as a compromise to composition.  Perhaps letting go of the reality helped. I chose 7-8 colours and didn't add anything even though I longed for more diversity of green.  Limiting helped me today.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Under the Apple Tree 6 x 6" pastel on paper
I'm back in Maine, enjoying the riot of colour around me: the backdrop of the sea and the plants. Today I picked a bouquet from my mother's September garden, fashioned a table under the apple tree and sorted out the chaos of colour I had arranged.
Dahlia an Blue Hydrangea 6 x 6" pastel on paper
When I arrived I stood with my back to the left of the oven, delighting in the plants on the island and the light pouring in through the kitchen window.
Light on Livingroom Floor 6 x 6" pastel on paper
On another day it was the light on the wood floor and the kantha's hung over the folding screen that stopped me in my tracks.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Art of Acadia

I was very excited to receive my copy of The Art of Acadia yesterday and have barely had time to peruse it, let alone read if from cover to cover, but I can't wait to do that! Carl and David Little have put together their map of artists who have brought Acadia (Maine) to life over the years and they included me and one of my drawings!