Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dark Pond on the Mountain


When I drove up Mount Greylock yesterday, the sun was shining, but it faded away by the time I reached the top.  So, instead of painting a long view, I went to the dark pond on the mountain and painted this 12x16 oil on panel.  The only sky appears as a couple spots at the bottom, which I think are important to the composition.  This time I was in a place where I could hear hikers, but most of them never saw me.  The frogs, however, were aware of my presence.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Looking North into the Haze on the AT


The haze never quite burned off after I reached the top of Greylock yesterday morning.  The spot where I set up is on the Appalachian Trail next to the road.  The view is looking north towards North Adams, MA.  I met several hikers, both women and men, all walking by themselves.  I asked them where they were going.  "Maine."  I asked them where they started from.  "Georgia."  This is the time when they should be going through this spot if they hope to make it to the end.  Some didn't linger, and some spoke for quite a while.  All were interesting people.  This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.  I hope to revisit this spot on a clear day since I want to paint those humpy mountains again.

A passerby in a car asked if she could take my picture.  I asked her to send it to me.  You can see the guard rail separating me from the cars.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A High Point


One could say that I've reached a high point in my painting: this 9x12 oil on linen I did yesterday at the top of Mount Greylock.  The painting looks southeast towards Adams, MA.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Lobster Boat in the Sun


An oil painting of a lobster boat in the sun in Perkins Cove at Ogunquit, Maine, on a 9x12 piece of linen.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Surface of the Pond


As I worked on this painting, coincidentally I read an essay by David M. Robinson on Thoreau's Walden.  He writes, "...the description recreates the pond surface as a medium of cognition, an ideal analogue for the completely perceptive mind.  The line of demarcation between two different realms, water and sky, the surface is also the place at which these realms meet and merge, recording and thus comprehending each such event.  Perception, as represented by Thoreau through the perfectly impressionable pond surface, is thus a process of merger or unification."

The painting is an 18x24 oil on canvas of the small pond located on Mount Greylock.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Splendid Prospect


Mount Prospect offers a splendid prospect of Williamstown and the Taconic Mountains in the distance.  I reached the clearing, which is on the Appalachian Trail, using the short hike accessible from Notch Road.   It took twenty minutes even though I carried up my painting gear.  Being so high up, I thought I would be an interesting sight for through hikers, but I only met one, who was in a hurry.  This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

One More Pond


Yesterday I went back to the pond.  I painted this 9x12 oil on linen while the sun gradually disappeared, and the clouds increased.  I could hear thunder getting closer.  I was off the mountain when the rains finally came.  Even though I used bug spray, my legs have been eaten alive in the last few days on the mountain.  Next time at the pond, I will wear long pants.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Painting From The Mountain


When going to the pond on Mount Greylock, I pass by this view going up and down.  If one is going to paint on a mountain, shouldn't one try a long view?  This is a 12x16 oil on panel that I did yesterday from the "Fitch" view on Notch Road below Mount Fitch.  The view looks west toward the Taconics in New York state.  Fascinating how that tree can only expand on one side.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Faster Pond


This is the second pond painting that I did yesterday from my spot next to the old pump house on Mount Greylock.  It's a 12x9 on linen.  I worked a little faster on this one going after a more abstract design.

Monday, July 31, 2017

From A Spot At A Corner



From late morning until mid-afternoon today, I spent three hours at the fantastical pond on Mount Greylock, painting from from a spot at one of the corners of the pump house.  This is the first painting I did, an 11x14 oil on multimedia art board  (which I previously coated with gesso to make it less absorbent).  The vegetation around the pond is so thick that less than half of the pond edge is accessible.  This is probably why this pond is in such nice shape.  Even on a Monday, I saw about twenty-five hikers go by.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fantastical Pond



The pond, the pond.  I spent a couple hours at the pond yesterday when the sun finally came out. There's something magical, dark and fantastical about this pond.  This painting is a 9x12 oil on linen.

I've been reading Julian Barnes' "Keeping An Eye Open: Essays on Art."   He quotes Georges Braque, who wrote, "The only thing that matters in art is what cannot be explained."  Barnes tries to explain a few things nevertheless, but I like the quote, nevertheless.  I'm trying to get at something I can't explain.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Boat


Another boat at Perkins Cove.  I might do a series of boats like baseball cards.  The boats always park in the same spot.  They all have names.  This one's called the "A MARIA".  The previous one is called "BUCKWACKA".  This painting is also a 9x12 oil on linen.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Whirring of Bird Wings


Since I was already set up at the pond on the mountain at the intersection of Notch Road and Rockwell Road, after I finished my first painting, I turned slightly to the right, and painted another view.  My guidebook has no reference to this pond.  My vague recollection suggests that it had to do with getting water up to the mountain top via a pump station, which explains the tiny building at the pond edge.  As I painted, it was so quiet I could hear the whirring of bird wings in the trees, and occasionally the footsteps of approaching hikers.  This is a 16x12 oil on panel.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Painting On The Mountain


When I drove up Notch Road this morning, I could barely contain my excitement.  I've painted the mountain many times over the years, and it took me until now to realize that I could paint on the mountain.  My destination was a small pond just below the last leg up to the top of Mount Greylock.  Fortunately there's a small parking lot nearby.  All I heard for a while were the bull frogs chanting.  Eventually hikers came by since I was next to the path.  Some were day hikers, and some were on a longer journey.  All seemed happy and cheerful.  This painting is a 9x12 oil on linen.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Boat


A lobster boat at Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.  I painted this on a 9x12 piece of linen from a pad as an experiment.  I figure I can mount the best results to foam core. While painting, I attached the linen sheet to a 9x12 board with clips, though I might use masking tape for the next try.  The surface is nice to work on and the sheets won't take up much space.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Corner


A painting of a Brooklyn street corner, Grand Avenue and Pacific Street.  This view is painted on an 11x14 multimedia board, which I coated with gesso beforehand.  I've discovered that the gesso makes the board less absorbent and easier to paint on.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Final Two



Here are the final two paintings from today and this week at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.  I spent the morning on the back porch looking out at the mountains.  In the afternoon, I stepped over to a nearby shady spot to paint the Cafe Sora.  Both paintings are 16x12 oil on panel.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs



Thursday at SVAC: an interior and an exterior painting.  For me, the challenge of painting is to do something with what's there in front of you, or maybe just to the side.  The interior painting is a view looking out of the large red piano gallery into the main hallway.  All the ins and outs, and ups and downs, aren't so obvious until one starts looking at them.  The exterior painting is of Yester House at the back from down the grassy slope looking up.  Both paintings are 12x16 oil on panel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Inside and Out




Today at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, I did one painting inside in the large piano room, this time looking out the double doors towards the mountains.  That sunlight reflection didn't last very long.  I relied on a sketch that I made prior to the painting.

The other painting I did outside in the early afternoon.  It depicts the front door of Yester House, and as you can see from the accompanying photo of my setup,  I had to work in the sun to get this particular angle.

Both panels are 16x12 oils.

At the Origin



The paintings I did yesterday at the Southern Vermont Arts Center are on display at the locations in Yester House where I painted them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SVAC Interiors



This week from today through Friday, I am working/painting at the Southern Vermont Arts Center as the artist in residence.  This means that I get to paint inside and outside the SVAC Yester House, which is currently holding a very fine members show.

These are the two paintings I did today, both 12x16 oil on panel.  The first painting is a view of the hallway on the second floor where some offices are located.  People suggested it reminded them of Van Gogh's bedroom.  Imagine that.  The second painting is the large gallery on the first floor where the piano is situated.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Early Sunday Morning in Brooklyn


Here's a painted view of the building at the corner of Bergen and Washington Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, from early last Sunday morning.  As you can see, a tree grows in Brooklyn at this corner.  Behind the closed roll-up gates is a bar, not open at the time of day I was there.  This is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Call It A Day



You may remember that I mentioned that the farmers were working in the 4th of July making hay.  I was able to return this afternoon and I worked in the middle of the hay field at the line separating it from the corn field. The nice round hay bales are now and still on display.  And it's Friday afternoon, so when I started painting the door to the large metal barn in the background was open, but when I took the photo late in the afternoon after completing the painting, I noticed that the door was closed.  Time to call it a day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Pond in a Field


The corn field had a small pond filling the rows.  Since I was facing west when painting this view, the mountains flowing north in the background are the Taconics.  Besides this 'pond' in the field, there are many large puddles in the dirt roadways that wind through the fields.  The puddles reflect the sky like an eye.  This is a 9x12 oil on panel.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Hay Doesn't Know




This 9x12 oil on panel shows the passage between the hay and corn fields and 'The Spruces.'  I set up in another shady spot on the dirt road, as you can see from the photo. It was interesting to see that there's a lot of traffic, dog walkers, bicyclists, people with tubes looking for access to the river.  Nearby to my right the farmers were haying even though it was July 4th.  The hay doesn't know.  I may have to set up in the sunny field with my umbrella for some future paintings.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Spruces


Yesterday I went exploring again going beyond the corn fields to an area that used to contain a mobile home park.  Known as 'The Spruces,' it was destroyed by hurricane Irene.  The spruces are the only things that remain, besides tall grass and dirt lanes.  But it's a landscape painters paradise.  I painted this 11x14 oil on panel in the afternoon.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Including the Mountains


Yesterday afternoon, another opportunity to paint outdoors: it was hot so I set up in the shade near where I was earlier last week but farther back.  I wanted to include the mountains in the painting with the tree on the right enclosed by the mountain form, and the bush on the left breaking the horizon line.  This is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

In the Jungle, In the Plains



This morning I had a chance to visit the plains again and make this 9x12 oil on panel.  The nearby garden area had some deep, large footprints going across it, which I would guess were moose prints.  A walker came by and reminded me that the tall asparagus like plants would destroy my flesh if I touched them.  I thanked her and told her I had no intention of getting off the dirt roadway.  For being so close to town, I felt like I was in a jungle.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Between Corn Fields


Wednesday morning this week I did get out to paint though I didn't have the time to photograph the results.  This 9x12 oil on panel I painted standing in the dirt road that separates two corn fields.  There are puddles in the tire paths, and at one moment of forgetfulness, I stepped back right into one.  Paintings outdoors does make one concentrate,  and forgetful at the same time.  The mountains that appeared in my previous painting, Mt. Prospect and Williams squeezed together, are to my back in this painting and therefore not visible.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hard to See


Since it was threatening to rain, I worked quickly on this small 8x10 oil sketch.  Right now the corn measures only a foot or less, but later this summer this place will have changed dramatically when the stalks are eight feet high.  However, the trees and mountains will still be the same.  What I especially like about the place are the dirt "roads" used by the tractors and trucks that wind their way through the fields.  There's also an expanse of sky to the left of the mountains usually with great cloud formations.  Somebody has installed a garden, visible at the lower right.  It's hard to believe that this place is actually almost in the center of town, but easy to not see or know it's there.  After forty minutes it started to rain, so this panel received a nice coating of droplets.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Scouting for Places to Paint


Yesterday afternoon I went scouting for new places to paint.  I visited flat cornfields nearby and also the top of Greylock looking for vistas.  I have found a couple spots that I will return to, both up in the air and down below.  In the meantime, as in yesterday morning, I went to Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road.  I was able to paint this 9x12 oil on panel view because the field I stood in has been mowed for hay recently.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Watch Your Step


This tree is located at the top of the hill behind the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA.  The hill is an active cow pasture, and the cows were there yesterday morning when I went to paint.  The cows stayed out of the way, but one still has to be very careful walking around, if you get my drift.  The trees at the top of the hill have suffered a lot in the last couple years,  presumably due to age and winter storms.  This tree is in better condition than most of them up there.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Looking at the Mountains





This afternoon I had a couple of brief hours, not the regular one hour hours, and so I went up to Sheep Hill to paint and look at the mountains.  The result I kept short and simple,  oil on a 9x12 panel.  The accompanying photo is to show that this place really exists.  In the distance is a view of Mount Greylock with the Hopper.  Somebody asked me once, "Did you just make that up or does it really exist?"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

No Mas


For the first day of summer, this morning I painted a driveway.  The breeze was gentle and persistent with the sun going in and out.  I pretended that I was in Provence painting on a country road, except the building alongside the driveway doesn't look like a mas, the Provencal farmhouse, but is a Federal style house in Hoosic, NY.  9x12 oil on panel.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quality Post


Since Facebook, where I also post these paintings, claims it gives wider dissemination to quality posts, this is a quality post.  The quality painting visible here, a 12x16 oil on canvas panel, depicts the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Grand Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.  It is a lively corner with colors aplenty.  I might go so far as to call it a quality urban corner.  I hope you like it, the painting and the corner.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Black Eye in Brooklyn


The corner of Grand and Bergen in Brooklyn is one of my favorite corners because the car repair shops are so bright and colorful, and the sidewalks and streets are usually full of cars waiting to be fixed.  The front car in this painting has a "black eye" on the passenger side.  But what really got my attention was the position of the white panel truck repeating the appearance of the building in the top left background.  The composition is almost like a pin wheel.  I didn't invent this composition.  I found it.  Of course, I always look here first.  The painting is a 12x16 oil on canvas panel.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Two Natures


The streets of Brooklyn can be exhilarating for a visual artist, a painter, because there is so much to see and respond to.  I might have a different attitude about it if I were not just a frequent visitor and had to live there under difficult circumstances.  Nevertheless, there's an organic nature to city streets, even though they are filled with artificiality and brutishness, that parallels the world outside the city.  Maybe it's the variety and range of visual stimuli in a tight space.  The two "natures" mix when large trees and untended weeds reside with hydrants, walls topped with barbed wire, cars, signs, and buildings and on and on.  This view is of the corner of Grand and Pacific on a 12x16 oil on panel.