Saturday, December 15, 2012

Drained, 36 x 60, oil on canvas

This lake at Keystone State Park was being drained, thus the title. It was also the last days of the glorious autumn and I wanted to use the water reflection to enhance the power of the morning light on the scene.

I did this painting last month after doing a couple small 9 x 12 paintings the day before. It allowed me to premix a batch of colors. So I drove to this location in Westmoreland County, got set up in the early morning darkness and waited for the race to begin. As the morning sun poked up I used every ounce of energy I had to get the paint on the canvas. The entire sky was painted using a palette knife. By about 11am I was 90% done. The finishing was completed in my studio later that evening from memory.

The most asked question I get is how long did it take you to paint that. Well, let's see. Does that include the several trips to the location 50 miles from my studio? Does it include the time spent painting the preliminary studies? Does it include the time stretching the canvas and preparing the ground on the canvas? Does it include the premixing of the colors the previous night? Does it include the 27 years I've been painting? It would be easy to say 5 hours, but that would be totally inaccurate. It is the accumulation of knowledge and skill that allows any artist to do what they do. The actual time of the performance doesn't take into account the hours of preparation. Ask any professional musician or athlete.