Friday, August 19, 2016

Beethoven in the Coast Range

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Foxgloves in the Coast Range
(Oregon Coast Range)
Oil Sketch on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel

5" x 7"

If you have not listened to Beethoven’s Ninth, while having breakfast on the end of a ridge after a 36 hour rain, and while watching the mist in the valleys below rising to join the cloud not far above you, and with spears of sunlight breaking through, now and again, to light patches of far hillside, feebly at first, then with increasing frequency, and promising a final clearing to come soon … you have not lived.  Even though I often listen to Classical Music Public Radio here in the States, and Radio 3, when in Britain, I never had much of a Classical Music Album/Cassette/CD collection.  That changed over this past Winter, when I had a brainstorm.  I began to finger through the CD shelves at Goodwill and used my Christmas money from my sisters to begin my Classical Music Collection, at less than $2 per CD!  The bonus is that at that price you can afford to make the odd mistake, though I rarely have, and they are usually to be found in excellent condition … Classical Music listeners seem to take care of their CDs better than any other music listeners.  I have saved them all on my PC, then transferred them to a dedicated exterior hard-drive, as well as backed them up on further hard-drives during my normal backups, all in WAVE formats.  I have further copied the collection to my Tablet, which automatically converts them to MP3 format, so I can easily listen when it is not convenient to break out the PC.

Monday the 11th of July was such a day, and when breakfast and Beethoven had finished, and the day had cleared sufficiently to set up the Solar Array, I set up to paint.  I was going to paint an Oil of my sketchbook drawing of the day before, and I proceeded far enough to cover the panel in an imprimatura, and draw in the composition, but I was taken with the way the light was falling onto a patch of grass and foxgloves set against the dark of the forest beyond, so I quickly set to work on the new panel, and the result is that shown above.  The Forest was so enjoyable that I realized by this time that I would not be going down to paint the coast at Bandon, as I usually do.  I needed this woodland sojourn, after spending so much time in town, over the past year, on the commissioned works I have previously mentioned. 

As usual, I am mentioning the pigment used, and you will see that I have used two bright yellows, as well as my old favorite Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre.  The Hansa Yellow Light is, for me, a new colour added to my palette this past Spring.  When reading about other Artist’s palettes, I often have seen this Yellow mentioned.  I have not always been happy with the denseness of some of my mixed greens using the Cadmiums, and decided to give Hansa Yellow a try.  Mixed with Cerulean it gives me the bright greens I was looking for, and it also gives creditable greens when mixed with other blues as well.  The Greens found in Nature are many and varied, and Hansa Yellow adds another tool to further master this variability in my work.

Imprimatura: Vasari Terra Rosa.

Drawing/Block-in: Ultramarine Blue Deep.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Cyprus Raw Umber Deep, Cyprus Warm Burnt Umber; Winsor & Newton Cobalt, Cerulean & Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmium Yellow Pale (not a lot) Permanent Rose & Cremnitz White; M. Graham Hansa Yellow Pale.

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