Monday, April 28, 2014

Sometimes you predict wrong

I thought that when the afternoon sun hit this house it would be stunning, so I sketched the architecture and painted the tree waiting for the  light to be just right  on the house.  The sun never  performed-- it only hit the corner of the house bouncing a little light onto the porch.  At that point, instead of the white house with its shadows being the star of the painting, it became a beautiful background to the magnificent old maple tree.  Sometimes you predict wrong, but get a wonderful outcome anyway.

Shadows on a White House

Three elements attracted me to this painting:  the white house with morning shadows, and  the spirea  and the kerria bushes, both in full bloom.  I painted this as quickly as I could, spotting the shadows in early because I knew they would change and not be as exciting.  I wanted to show the action of the breeze and flowing shadows with the changing shadow colors.  This painting feels like a beautiful day in spring!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Summer in Cades Cove, Tennessee

Note the difference in summer light-- much hazier, more atmosphere and rich summer shadows.

Late Afternoon in Lookout Valley

Afternoon in the autumn brings out the best colors--- clear blue sky and golden tones on an already golden landscape make this painting so vibrant.

That Little White dog

Sometimes a white painting has no white at all. Just light in key spots will make the painting work.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Peonies in the Sun

    Peonies provide such a wonderful subject matter for light and shadow and nuance of temperature.  They also make a pretty painting.  There is no substitute for painting in sunlight.

Weather Blowing In

     Sometimes the subject of a painting  happens when you don't expect it.  I was all set to tackle the Walnut Street Bridge for a  quiet but sunny  afternoon, when the wind picked up and very dramatic clouds appeared.  In a situation like this, it is best just to hold on to your easel and paint like your hair is on fire!

Early Spring Barn

     Working with a limited palette in the early spring before the trees bud out, one is reminded of the subtle but beautiful earth and winter colors available to us.  I like this composition for many reasons, it show the mountains of Tennessee, the hundred year old barn, and of course, beautiful afternoon shadows.  Note the brightest color juxtaposed next to the darkest value.


      There was a beautiful snowfall last month.  The snow was thick and heavy, sticking to the hemlocks and weighing them down.  It is rare that we get snow like this, so I thought I would take advantage of the challenge of painting white in the sunlight.   You have to really watch for temperature variation of the white and shadow because there is so much color bounce from all the light.  Look  how much yellow is on the underside of the snowcovered branches.   And notice how the shadows change temperature with every angle change.