Long Shadows

Saturday I ran three pieces over to the Gallery at 100 Market Street in Portsmouth for a three-month exhibit that begins this week. “Shadows, Late and Long” was one of the three. I painted Shadows recently, using a photograph of a house in Bartlett, taken in 2008 when I was up there in August for a workshop. The house is still there, but it’s a different color (tan) and I no longer see the tree that had made the long shadows two years ago. So glad I got that photo in 2008.

How I know an image is a good one for painting: it remains fresh in my memory–the photograph is only a reminder of the initial impact that it made on me. Sometimes, after capturing an image on camera, I can hardly wait to get home before creating the painting, but usually the photos sit in my digital box until I rummage through them, looking for inspiration.

I have my gallery sitting duties at the Manchester Artists Association Gallery to thank for the rummaging effort. Whenever I go to gallery-sit, I take something with which to make a painting or a drawing, which usually means a couple of photographs for inspiration and the whole plein air kit (backpack with palette, tripod, paints, brushes, etc.) and at least two canvases on which to paint. “Shadows” was the product of one of those sitting sessions. The same session also resulted in the painting below, “Spring Runoff”, from a photo taken in 2009 in Kinsman Notch.

Spring Runoff 14×11

To come home with two such paintings in one six-hour session gives my spirits such a lift. The quality of all the wonderful paintings and photographs in the Gallery probably contributes to my inspiration while painting there. Not one painted in the Gallery has disappointed me.

You can catch me painting at the Gallery on most Saturdays, except that I have completed my scheduled duties for August already. In the Fall, my Saturday mornings at Life Drawing will resume, but chances are that I will be at the Gallery, painting, in the afternoon.

Receptions to be aware of:

Friday Aug. 13 in Portsmouth at the Gallery at 100 Market St: 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday Aug. 14 in Boston at the Arnold Arboretum Visitors Center: 1 to 3 (includes talk by the artists–there are nine of us; I think we will just answer questions people may have about plein air painting in general or specific ones on exhibit).

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