Monday, February 10, 2014

Fire Escape Shadow

Nancy Herman
9" x 12"
oil on canvas board

I have not been painting as much as usual as I have been working on the documentary for my film making class.  More about that when it is finished. 

Meanwhile, I have been longing to go outside and paint.  Of course the weather is not too hot for that at the moment, although there is a guy in Colorado who is painting in sometimes sub zero weather, four paintings a day....and they are good!  His name is Marc Hanson and here is a link to his blog, Painting My Way Through Life.

There are two key elements about painting outside that are different for me.  One is of course the weather, the constant changing light, the wind, the sun, the bugs, the whole iffiness of the physical conditions.  The other is that when I paint indoors I like to carefully plan what I am choosing to paint and make a careful drawing of it before I begin.   I think this goes back to my earliest childhood experiences of happily filling in the lines of my coloring books with crayolas.

Outside there simply is not time for any of that.  One simply cannot draw everything. It must be a great grab of information, hastily applied.  It is actually a young person's sport but unfortuneately it requires the skill of many years to perfect.  I am neither young nor have I spent the last few years perfecting that skill, although I did paint outdoors for many years,  I never gave myself over to it.  Am I ready to do that now?  Not sure.  This painting was a small start in that direction.  I did not paint outside but I also did not prepare a drawing first, just put the photo on my ipad and painted from that.  I will try that for a while before heading for the great outdoors.  Maybe the snow will melt and the temperatures will improve while I prepare.