This one was white and orange with a blue stripe, and the water was a bit gray.
This one was yellow, orange and black in greenish water.
This guy was aqua over black with a pink flag! The water was an intense ultramarine blue.
These are a few more lobster buoys I've got in the works. I really love them at this stage. Big decisions to be made, paint them the colors they were, or change it up? Let me know if you have any suggestions, original colors noted below each image.
I had a blast today at Great Bay Boatyard painting this little gem. I love red boats, and when you add some flags, which started fluttering just when I got that stage of the painting, it was irresistible!
I was asked to make one of the buoys with a holiday theme, so it could be used for marketing holiday events. When the water is reflecting the trees and it's a bit overcast, you get water that looks like this. With a red and white buoy, it's kind of festive, don't you think?
This afternoon it was windy, so I painted from the shelter of the path down to Sandy Point Beach on Cousin's Island. I was tempted to put in a few people, but none stayed long enough. A couple of young women headed out to one of the islands in kayaks for a last overnight before it gets too cold. Good for them!
Note: the mud is pinker than I've managed to capture with this photo!
Working on the first version of this painting on Monday afternoon, I was up against a stiff breeze, and wedged myself against the easel to keep things from blowing away. Low back pain followed the next day, so I've been stretching and taking it easy for a bit.
Sadly, I don't a photo of the first pass before I scraped it. But here's the scraped results, which I liked a lot better than the cool mud in the first pass.
It was so beautiful outside, and nice and cool this morning, so off I went with my plein air gear. My first stop was South Freeport Harbor, where I spent a couple of hours making a mess (which I wiped off). I was painting on a pier, and the best I can say is that I didn't drop anything in. Next, off to Cove Road, where I was attracted to the rocks that make up the rip rap keeping this little peninsula from being eroded into the Harraseeket River. And of course the view beyond them is nothing to sneeze at!
I painted this one on the Freeport town dock, under the harbor master's office, which is up a flight of stairs. His boat was tied to the dock, but I could still see the bright light hitting the left side. Simplifying the engine was fun.
Seal Bay is a beautiful unspoiled part of Vinalhaven Island in Penobscot Bay. It's a must stop for us on our annual boat trip to the area. At high tide, a small boat can make it through this passage into Vinal Cove, and near the end of the cove there is a reversing tidal falls, which everyone loves to go up and down in their dinghies. This year the tide was a bit high when we went through, so there was no falls action. This painting was done from a photo taken as we headed back through the passage to Seal Bay where our boat was anchored.
This is an unusual buoy, because it doesn't have a stick, but I couldn't resist the colors. The lobsterman will grab the line tied to the small end of the buoy using a gaff. I'm thinking of getting one of those for our boat, because we often pick up mooring lines that are hard to grab with a standard boat hook.
My painting of section bwe4 of the Royal River Bandwagon Collaborative Portrait
8"x8" oil on panel
As many of you know, I do a lot of teaching at Artascope in Yarmouth, which is part of the Bickford Education Center (BEC). As part of an upcoming fundraiser, we are making a collaborative portrait of the Royal River Bandwagon. I've seen a couple of Susan Bickford's earlier collaborative portrait projects and was excited to participate in this one. She blows up a photograph, then cuts it into a grid of pieces. Participants take one piece each, and reproduce it using their chosen medium. The resulting pieces are put into a frame with metal backing with small magnets. The result is very very cool. Check out Susan's collaborative portrait website and this article about one of her projects. Many of them have been portraits of people, rendered in black and white. This one is the portrait of a vehicle, and we are going for color. Hopefully I'll be able to show the whole thing in an upcoming post.
Today I did the value under paintings for three more buoy paintings. This is one of my favorites, I love the tricolored stick. I may replace the photo if I can get one with a better color reproduction of the water.
Here's the under painting. I wiped off more of the dark before painting over it, to minimize mixing with the upper paint layer.
Sometimes I look back through finished paintings to see if there are any that could be improved. This one was a good example, and it includes a couple of mooring buoys. Below is the previous version. Which one do you like better?
Now that my workshop with Anne Blair Brown is over, I can focus on the theme for the September 30 Paintings in 30 Days. And that's buoys. In our coastal waters, buoys are often used to mark locations. If you've been out on the water, you've seen the green cans and red nuns that are navigational markers. Mooring balls are also buoys, in that they mark the location of a mooring on the bottom, to which a boat can be tied up. And finally, my favorite, are lobster buoys, also called pots, which mark the location on the bottom of a string of lobster traps, usually one at each end.
Above is my first in the series, Orange and Black.
My last painting from the Anne Blair Brown class was painted at Owls Head Harbor. Through the class I came to rely more and more on my Notan thumbnails (see below). That was particularly important here, because the boats swung around while I was squeezing out my paint. So I used the Notan for the composition and glances at each boat to grab their dark light patterns as they swung. Then, when I got home, I broke my rule number 1 of plein air painting "Don't muck with it when you get home". I simplified a few things, and sadly I don't have a picture of the original. Lesson leaned!
The Notan I used for the above painting.
Other Notans of this scene, where I didn't think the composition was as strong.
Anne Blair Brown's Brushstroke workshop was excellent. The 40 brush stroke exercise was where most of us made the most progress. This is mine, 38 brush strokes in total, you can see them marked off at the top. Oh, the lost opportunities to use fewer strokes! You really have to pay attention to what's on top of what. It's actually little bit like a reduction woodcut in the thought process.