Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fill 'er Up

As promised here's the finished painting that was started in the previous blog. I enjoyed pulling this one together. Sometimes these images almost paint soon as the first dark shapes are put down I can see the rest of it right in front of me..
This is pastel on 8 x 10 on dark blue Colourfix paper and is available for purchase.

Esso Station-Aroostook County

When my husband and I were kids our dads were both traveling salesmen. Our families weren't acquainted then but we have our fathers' work in common. Both men had big territories to cover that included all of northern New England.
They each spent a lot of time driving the long lonely roads of Maine selling their products and would leave early on Monday mornings of every week, sometimes not returning home until Friday.
As Steve and I traveled through Aroostook we talked about what that kind of life on the road might have been like for them. We even toyed with idea that our dads may have crossed paths not once but perhaps several times during their careers. When we came upon this old gas station somewhere in "The County" as it's known here, with the antique cars parked in the yard we just had to stop for some photos. So many years ago our dads must have stopped here many times to refuel, grab a pack of cigarettes or just to stretch their legs before heading to the next customer. It was the only place for miles......My dad even drove a car like the one on the right.
I decided to show the stages of this painting but..... the finished one will be on my next blog...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Velvet Night

In an earlier blog about my painting called, "Whispers in the Moonlight", I mentioned that nocturnal paintings have always fascinated me, so I added another book to my growing collection of books on artists called ,"The Color of Night". It's about Frederic Remington and contains 75 of his most well known nocturnal paintings of the American west. After many years of experimentation and constant study Remington became a master technician of the American wild west genre but especially paintings of the night. In the books foreword Earl Powell III of the National Gallery of Art explains why night paintings draw such interest, "...nocturnes thus reflect both the external beauty of night and the internal threat of darkness".
This is a 10 x 12 pastel painting executed on dark blue Colourfix paper. Kathi Peters, my good friend and fellow artist provided the photo of her Welsh Cob mare, Victoria, with her first colt, Legacy. The background scenery and barn don't exist in the photo....I made them up.
"Cut down and your hardest work outside the picture and let your audience take away something to think imagine." Frederic Remington 1903.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dawn Breaks Over Danforth

This new painting is from an Autumn road trip taken through Washington and Aroostook counties in northern Maine a couple of years ago. We traveled up the coast on Route 1 then left the last eastern US coastal town of Calais and continued inland to the remote village of Danforth. It's well known for the superb fishing and hunting on nearby East Grand Lake which separates Maine from New Brunswick, Canada. We spent a snowy winter weekend in a friends lakeside camp there many years ago. At that time the road to the camp wasn't plowed in winter so we walked three miles from the main road through knee deep snow to get there. It was worth the effort but in the morning we discovered that coyotes had tracked us in! We'd heard them howling all during our trek under a full moon ...a beautiful but eerie experience.
This abandoned barn high up on an exposed ridge north of town offered great views of the lake and Canada beyond. I worked from a photo (originally taken at noon with overhead sun) to get placement of the features and then let my imagination take over for the morning sky and light. This is my second painting of this memorable region.... but not my last I think....