Posts Tagged ‘Indian Hill Manor’


Barn at Indian Hill Manor

September 6, 2013
Barn at Indian Hill Manor; Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Barn at Indian Hill Manor; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

I had the opportunity to paint at Indian Hill Manor. I had noticed this design opportunity during my tour a week earlier.I wanted to get one more good farm painting fora submission to the Farms & Barns Regional Competition.

After arriving, I spent about twenty minutes moving around this dirt road, working to determine the best vantage point. I made several sketches in my book and determined which spot and design would work best.

For the first hour, I worked in relative solitude. Then I heard some noises and figured something was going on by the farm house (which was at my 2 o’clock). My view of the house was obstructed by an outbuilding. I was curious about the activity. Later, I realized that the noise was actually coming from a field behind me. The sound must have been echoing off of the outbuilding. A couple of the maintenance workers were burning some branches and “stuff”. Suddenly, I had a problem. The wind had shifted and I had smoke blowing my way, not bad. Then it got bad, some of the ashes were now falling onto my palette and onto my painting. Nothing I could do short of closing up my painting.

This fallout lasted about ten minutes. Some minor clean up of the palette and some delicate use of a palette knife to clean up the painting. Finishing touches and I was done. Happy to report that the paining worked well and this painting was accepted to the exhibition.


The Greeter

August 29, 2013
The Greeter; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

The Greeter; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

I had the opportunity to paint at Indian Hill Manor. It is an estate just southwest of Rockford. I must have driven past this place more than a hundred times but never knew it was there. The estate is adjacent to a forest preserve. The property borders an active road, but the trees are thick. Camouflage. I was told that the estate is being kept closed to the general public but will be used for meetings by conservations groups.

I arrived around 8:30am. By the time that I received some introductions and a quickie tour, it was after 10:00am. I still wanted to get some painting in before noon. During my tour, I noticed the beautiful play of light off of the statue near the front door. I set up under the minimal shade of a small tree and got to work.

I took a few minutes to make a few sketches in my sketchbook. Thought that I had the right design. However, as I was completing my block in, I realized that the design would not work. Took a few moments to analyze and determine a more workable solution. Another quick sketch to help lock in the shadows. Wipe off the first block in, sketch the new design onto the canvas and start a new block in. This time, much better. The painting was fun, but the statue took a lot of time. It was a challenge to capture the feel of all the architectural factors and elements and keep them as a background. All of the lines and shadows and details could become a focus if they were allowed to stay sharp and hard. An delicate touch with the brush helped to soften the lines and forms.

Unfortunately, this painting took almost two hours to complete. For such a small painting, that seems too long, but the results made the time investment worth it.