Friday, August 30, 2019

plein air: first ave beach (wip)


There were some spectacular ever-changing clouds at the beach on this morning. So beautiful it seemed pointless to try to paint!
But I did a little before it started to rain.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

plein air: mount vernon ave


Went back to Mount Vernon Ave to try again.
This time I made a loose sketch of the scene, which I think helped me try to arrange the space ... though I still overdid it somewhat: I'd like to reduce the the grass shapes to just a few large shapes.
I do like the foreground though.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

plein air wip: the red store


The Red Store is a very popular--and very high end--cafe and small grocer. Back in the day it was a mom and pop general store; now they sell their fresh squeezed juices for like $8 a glass. On a weekend morning people stream in and out without a pause. An idyllic setting, but I can't help but feel a little conflicted! Maybe that's why I can never do a decent painting of the place ... or maybe it's just the hard to reproduce red it's painted!
I did a nice sketc of this scene: keeping the building in the background and focusing on the Joe Pye weed in the foreground. But when I transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper, I made the building too prominent. So I redrew it (below) but by then I'd lost interest.
Haven't decided if I'll try to salvage this or not. Maybe not, because I really don't care about it!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

plein air: mt. vernon ave


Joe Milligan, who is teaching a plein air class here for the summer, brought us to this little tucked away spot, just a block off the busy beach drive. There's a shady path, overlooking a tidal marsh, that leads to a path to the beach. The dunes are unbelievably picturesque--I'm guessing they've been built up and native plants added--and I plan to paint them this fall when it cools down a bit.
It was low tide when we were painting, with flat muddy areas and shallow water that was nearly white.
With all the layers of grasses and brush going back into the distance, I was concentrating on trying to use color to convey atmospheric perspective.
But I'd say this isn't quite finished ... I'm not sure if I'll finish it--it looks too busy to me. I feel like I either have to consolidate and simplify some of the grass/brush shapes OR go the other way! If I could paint like John Marin, I think I'd really have something here!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

cove beach


This is the scene I'm always told would be a big seller. So, typically of me, I painted it, finally, after hanging my paintings in a group show in West Cape May. I intended to have a painting of this subject ready to go ... but didn't make it. 
 Different areas have different color lifesaving boats: in the north end of town they're white, at Cape May Point they're blue. I'm guessing it's to facilitate lifeguard competitions. It might also facilitate a series of watercolor paintings.

Friday, August 16, 2019

plein air: cape may point light


Pleasant day painting at the state park with Joe Milligan, who has been teaching a plein air class here this summer. One of the things Joe has done is get me to re-add Payne's gray to my palette; he uses it so well. 
I liked this scene so much I painted it again when I got home, but contrary to what usually happens, I think the one done on location is "better": it's crisper, drawn better. But the little one's not bad--the subject matter carries it!

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

knobbed whelk


Another try at my idea to paint shells in big washes, with strong values. This one came out a little soft.
I was hoping to paint a few of these for my show, but it opens on 12th, so I don't think I'll make it!

Sunday, August 04, 2019

fishing boat


Back to a subject I feel a little more confident about. And you can't go wrong with blue and orange.
I think I am finally figuring out how to paint all that stuff on a fishing boat, all that stuff that I don't what it is and can't really make out. It could be looser, fewer hard edges, but I've hit on a method of picking out a few larger shapes to delineated and then just breaking up the spaces around them.

Friday, August 02, 2019

plein air: texas ave park


What can I say. A favorite subject, but, again, I tried to paint what I saw--gray water--but I feel I should have made another choice.