East Willow Road

July 20, 2014
East Willow Road - Plein Air: Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

East Willow Road – Plein Air: Oil on Canvas Panel 6″ x 8″

Traveled about an hour to plein air paint with the Oregon group. The site that day was a farm, an alpaca farm. Interesting creatures, but a well cared for and rather sterile farm. I walked around the grounds (with the help of a very friendly dog), but was unable to find anything of interest.

I ventured onto the gravel road in front of the farm and ventured about a hundred yards to the east. I decided to set up my gear and paint. I started a painting that was 9″ x 12″. It attempted to capture this idea of venturing down this road but included the house and farm buildings which were along the right side of this road. I fought with the painting for a little over an hour and realized that it was not going to work. One mantra I preach to my students is to “Keep It Simple”, and I did not.

The painting was too busy. Too many separate, unconnected shapes and elements. I decided to wipe the canvas clean and use it for another painting. A certain degree of therapy is accomplished with the simple act of removing the mess that was on that canvas.

I took a fresh look at the scene and made a couple sketches of this concept. I felt that it would work but I only had about forty minutes before we would break for lunch. Pulled out this smaller 6″ x 8″ canvas and attacked the canvas. Not the greatest painting, but I love the play of alizarin crimson among all the greens.  It was more simple and I was able to charge through this painting and finish just in time for lunch with the other painters.

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