Sunday, February 26, 2012

Retrospective Part 3

"Cool Roots" - Pastel - 11x14 - 2003
I really enjoyed doing landscapes, both en plein air as well as from photos. Where I lived in Maryland was a hugely picturesque area. There was one stretch of country road that particularly intrigued me, but it was all privately owned land and there was no safe place to pull over the car to stop. So one beautiful autumn afternoon in 2002, I had my son drop me off at one end of the road on his way to run errands somewhere and told him I'd call him when I had walked to the other end (about two miles) and he could pick me up then. It is one of the most memorable afternoons of my life. Driving by an area is nothing like walking through it and looking at it through the lens of a camera. I was shooting 35mm at the time and I may have gone through as many as four rolls of film on that walk. I don't even remember how many paintings I was able to create from my photographs, but "Cool Roots" was one of them. I'm glad it didn't sell to anyone outside the family because every time I see it at my mother's I'm always reminded of that magical afternoon.

"Hazy Morning" - Pastel - 11x14 - 2002
"Hazy Morning" was created on site, sitting in my driveway. I just looked across the road one morning and painted. Like I said, we lived in such a beautiful area. I painted numerous landscapes, en plein air, just from my own yard. We had great vistas in all directions.
"Cold Winter Sky" - Pastel - 10x17 - 2000
"Cold Winter Sky" was actually painted from a hastily drawn black and white sketch. I had been driving along Route 50 on my way to see my mother-in-law one evening when the twilight sky caught my breath. I pulled my car over to the side of the road. Since this was before I started carrying a camera with me 24/7 all I could do was sketch the scene and make careful reference notes concerning color. I then presented the finished painting to my dad as a present because I knew his affinity for the moon and stars; the same as mine.

(Sorry for the poor quality of this photo. Very difficult to shoot behind glass. I may have a 35mm photo of this somewhere; taken before it was framed. One day I'll replace the image with a better one if I can.)

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