Monday, October 25th, 2010

Painting about place

This new piece, “Buzzard’s Bay,” began (as many paintings do) as an idea about a place, more so than the place itself. Childhood summers on Buzzard’s Bay (on Scraggy Neck in Cataumet, MA) left indelible memories for me of  expansive horizons and stark morning light and shadows. The “model” for this painting is actually an old house I encountered at the tip of Provincetown, just before the access road to Race Point. The house is overgrown, and appears to be either abandoned or (at least) neglected.

I don’t know if it was the light, the structure itself, or the small glimpse of Cape Cod Bay I could see beyond it, but coming across this old house sparked memories of Buzzard’s Bay, and the quiet stillness of a July morning. The piece started as a quick charcoal, to capture the light, and draw out the unnecessary clutter in the original scene. A very quick pastel established general color, with an emphasis on the sky. I wanted a  unique blue for the sky. Not “sky blue” and nothing dramatic. This image does not show it well, but it was a combination of several different blues that, together, create the blue I was hoping to achieve. The final piece (below) does for me what painting should do…connect you to the past and conjure memories.

Update: This piece was renamed “Cape Barn,” and, since this original posting, has been sold.

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