Recent Work: Preparing for a Show

When I'm getting ready for a smaller show I don't often splash out on boxes full of new frames; I prefer to go through my existing inventory to cull the weaker paintings and replace them with new work.

When I painted with Plein Air Washington earlier this month, I took some panels with me which were the same size as some of the paintings I wanted to replace.

Plein air work done locally is always more popular than generic studio work. It made sense to swap out a couple of winter scenes for something fresher.

Part 1: Painting on Location

PAWA Discovery Park I. 9x12, oil on hemp panel. 2018

The sky that I painted on location didn't work too well. As you'll see below, I made a lot of changes to it: I'm not a plein air purist.

PAWA Discovery Park II. 9x12, oil on hemp panel. 2018

I also completed a second painting that day—a very rare event for me. A very simple design and one of my go-to landscape compositions.

Part 2: Back in the Studio

I thought I could get more out of the larger of the two paintings.

Usually, the way it works is that you do small paintings in the field and use those to create larger things in the studio.  In this case I turned it around and did a smaller one back at home using the first painting as a reference.

 Early Morning Light. 5x7, oil on hemp panel. 2018.

If you compare this to the first painting, you'll see that I made two big changes:  I simplified the trees and changed the colors in the sky.

Still not happy with that first painting. By early September the paint was nicely dry so I started painting over the top of it, using the same basic composition.

Run in shed, trees and a field

Run-In Shed. 9x12, oil on hemp linen. 2018

The main goal was to give the painting a better feeling of unity. I think the end result is actually a simpler picture than the first version (and even the small painting above), but it does much more with less.

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