Have you ever been on a road trip and the light is so incredible you have to stop, get out and just soak it in? Two weeks ago I had to stop four times. What should have been a 90 minute drive turned into 3 hours! The light continued to get better and better. I would do a small 5 x 7 inch study, drive another 30 miles, look in my rear view mirror and say wow, that's another painting. It was just too good to pass up. The above painting was done from a photo that was taken before I did the studies. I loved the way the warm evening light bathed the trees and corn fields. My photo doesn't look anything like this. I rearranged the masses to show more sky and also balance the light families.
I've been doing a series of tiny paintings, mostly in the 5 x 7 inch range for an exhibition that opens next month. It has been a great learning experience. Some days, like yesterday, I'll get to four different locations. That small size forces me to react quickly to the light and mood of a place. Tuesday I did a small study in Garfield (above, top). I then returned to my studio to start the 16 x 20 on linen. Wednesday morning the light was great again so I worked on location from 7:30 - 10. Today, Thursday, I spent a couple hours on it again trying to get the perspective correct. While working on the large one I noticed the tiny red brick building in the background. It added a nice touch of color to the painting. I'm often asked how long it takes to do a painting. I hate the question because the actual painting time is often not very long. I think I may have 6-8 total hours on the 16 x 20, but that doesn't include three trips to the site, buying art supplies, or the 30 years it took me to get to this point. So I usually say the painting took 30 years.
Full time artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. I've been a gravedigger, chicken catcher, landscaper, graphic designer, museum art installer, college instructor, and now, finally, I'm painting everyday, which is what I've been trying to do all along.