Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Red Canoe - pastel

My friends here in Mystic have been telling me to paint some Mystic landscape scenes, so before I jump into the aerial cloud series, I thought I'd do a piece that would appeal to local tastes.  Another impetus was an announcement in the Groton public library for submissions from local artists for their summer solstice celebration.  I love my library, and I've always enjoyed seeing the various displays and such that they put on throughout the year.  It's not a competition and each artist may enter up to two pieces of artwork.   Sounded like fun!

It was also an opportunity to: 1) work on a larger surface; 2) replace an outdated pastel painting that has been hanging on my wall for the past 12 years or of the first I ever did.  It was done from a photo out of a magazine, and is outdated as far as my pastel painting skills go.  It has a nice wooden frame and the non-glare glass I got when I had the original painting matted.

It's something that appeals to *my* aesthetic sensibilities as well, since I took the photo.   It was of that fabulous red canoe that was sitting on the edge of the marsh side of Brushy point.   Loved the reflections, the contrast of the red canoe with the greens and blues of the distal shore and water.  And the little building...I decided to keep it, as I think it adds another point of interest and directs the eye to the tree line from the boat.

"Brushy Pt. Canoe"
12x18" on Strathmore 400 series paper
available for purchase

It seemed like a pretty straightforward painting - simple shapes and a relatively limited palette.  Well, after doing the majority of my pastels on sanded surfaces where the pastel goes down like butter, this was a bit of a challenge. The hardest part of the entire painting?  The reflection.  Jeebus...I don't want to mention how many times I re-did that particular area.  It's even been re-done after I took this photo, and still, as I am looking at the image and writing this, I see a few other areas that I need to re-work slightly.   That's one of the benefits of taking a photo - for whatever reason, it allows flaws to become apparent that  just weren't appreciated during the painting process. 

The original photo showed the trees in their anemic, pre-leafout colors, which didn't appeal to me.  So, they were done to reflect a bright spring green that they are currently.   It will be on its way to the local framer in a short while.

So, it will hang in the Groton Public Library for most of the month of June, along with one of my Mule Mtn. pastels done late last year.  Perhaps it will strike a chord with a local (even the canoe owner - who knows?) and it will sell.  If not, it will be a reminder of my time here in New England after we're 2200 miles to the west...

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