A Good Week of Painting

For starters, we had a live model in portrait class Monday night, and I am pleased with my painting. The portrait is as close to completion as I could hope for, after only 2 and a half hours. My fellow life drawing folks will, I hope, recognize the model.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, after work, I diligently worked on the Zorn portrait that I was copying for homework, to bring it up to the point that you can see at the top of this page. Turned out I had an extra week for this project, thank God! But I was taking off the weekend for plein air painting in Bartlett, NH, so I knew I had to fix the Zorn at night after work. The biggest change is a new head (did you notice how small the head was before?).


It could have used more work, but I had no more time since I had to pack Thursday night and drive up to Bartlett from work on Friday, in the company of Sharon Allen and Sandy Garrigan, from the NH Plein Air group.

In Bartlett, we joined with Byron Carr and a group from the Keene area, all followers of Peter Granucci, at the Bartlett Inn, where the walls are covered by paintings from the diverse collection of plein air artists who manage, from time to time, to get up there for an informal artists’ weekend. A number of those lured by Peter from Keene were new at painting en plein air. To encourage us all, Peter conducted a workshop Saturday morning, and gave us a slide show Saturday night. The weather on Saturday morning did its best to intimidate us, but even the first-timers hung in there. Sunday was our reward.

I worked on three scenes, and each one might be something I either finish or use as a study for a larger painting. First, during the worst of the cold, windy weather, I hurried to record an impression of blasts of sunlight breaking through far off clouds before the clouds overhead dumped all over me. The view is of Cathedral Ledge from the meadow at the bottom of Balcony Seat Road, in North Conway:

After lunch, I set up on the tailgate of Sharon’s Jeep, and painted up the road we took to get to that spot: Balcony Seat Road:

Sunday morning we drove over to Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, and we all three (Sharon, Sandy and I) landed at this scene across the road from the hotel:

I had to change a few things–the building in the valley was actually white and the birch on the right was actually leaning to the right instead of left–insignificant details compared to the moving of mountains done by some famous names. The birch log barricade was the item that first attracted both me and Sharon to this spot, but I see now that I was way too casual in the placement of logs and supports. To be corrected.

These three panels are of slightly unusual size: 10 by 12 instead of the usual 9 by 12. Since I have an ample supply of frames of that size, I ordered some RayMar panels to go with the frames. But I’m not sure I like the almost-square-ness of these panels. They do suggest enlargements though. Is that a function of the shape itself, or did the shape result in more complex compositions suitable for a larger format? Yet again, I end with a question.

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