Thursday, April 19, 2007

Durham in Winter Revisited

I love the winter light here in Maine, especially late afternoon when the shadows are long and dramatic. There's a rosy glow on everything touched by the low riding northern sun and it's my favorite season to take photos for future study and paintings.
This is a 5 x 7 casein of just such a scene. I originally painted a more expansive view in a 14 x 11 watercolor(see below) several years ago and that painting sold very quickly(hooray!) but the image still fascinates me and I feel compelled to explore it further.
I've tightened up the composition this time to focus more on the maple tree, which is what really drew me to take pictures of the scene in the first place. The loosely rendered barn roof and top story of the farmhouse help put the upward looking view into context. The absurd angles and shapes of the tree branches resemble knarly old elbows and fingers to me and provide an interesting play between light and shadow and hard and soft edges.
I'll tweak the casein study a little by adding some cast shadows to the farm house, adjust the hue of the siding to slightly more orange, then go for a larger painting in pastel.

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