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On the Moo-ve

July 20, 2018

On the Moo-ve – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 12″ x 24″

While competing in the Cedarburg Plein Air Festival, I asked one of the co-chairs for input. I was interested in capturing one of the local farms that would not require me to stand alongside a busy highway. Within moments, I had three women firing ideas at me. Among the suggestions, was a farm that was at the edge of town. I stood at the point where the speed limit changed from 25 mph to 45 mph. This was doable. One caveat, while the farmer did not mind painters painting the farm, we had to set up across the road, not too close to the pasture. No problem.

Took about forty minutes to play with sketches to decide on the design and format. Liked the idea of working this scene horizontally. Hard to capture the cows as they were constantly moving around. I found that I had to take several breaks from painting in order to grab my sketchbook and quickly capture their short term poses. Worked on this for about two hours when the weather changed. My lighting was lost. I decided to come back the next day. While I thought it might require an hour to complete, I spent a little additional time altering some colors.

While working the second day, I was visited by the owner of the farm. He made mention of the horizontal format. Said he loved the placement of the cows and how I handled the scene to capture the buildings as well as the distant fields. Took him awhile before he noticed that I had improvised the big barn. While the current barn was dark grey and weathered, I added the red paint. He remarked that along time ago, it was that color. I guess that’s okay.

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