29 August 2009

Return to Oil Painting . . . Moments of Summer

Soft Summer Light
8" x 6"
oil on archival board

Chester Marshes
8" x 10"
oil on archival board

Over the summer I had done several small oils on Italian archival board, a lovely surface to work on with a linen-like canvas over MDF board. These were really meant as small oil studies from which to work larger (which I may), but that I like at this size also. They have several layers of oil glazes, each layer adding more detail. On the final layer, I like to scratch back to the layers below to bring out highlights, such as small branches and bracken.

"Twilight Reflections on the River"
8" x 6"
oil on archival board
This one was such a serendipitous moment -- I had been working on a landscape (can't even recall which) when I just became disgusted with the rigidity and dullness of it all. In frustration I grabbed a rag and wiped the board and was ready to toss it on my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects). Luckily I looked down before doing so and sat in wonderment -- all the colors were blending in a soft manner, the rigid marks were gone . . . ummm!
I began to work with the blendings, suggesting reflections in the marshes that often edge a body of water. I didn't want to lose the delicacy, the fragility of the colors. And at the last moment I smudged the sky and "found" the moon! So often when driving home after work, the CT River is amazing in its myriad manifestations of shadows and light, especially when the moon is rising up over the rim of the hills but the colors are not quite faded away into the night.
Oil glazing is an old technique and sometimes it's forgotten in the contemporary environment. Yet when used it can capture such a softness of tone and yet allow the beauty of the surface to emerge.
Must remember to use it more often!


Anonymous said...

These paintings took my breath away - really tranquil beautiful colours and everything. You really must work bigger as I feel they could be amazing. What a happy accident!

Kelly M. said...

Thank you, Carolann! -- I think your visit came at just the right time as I'm sitting here in a funk, not wanting to paint -- or anything. I hate these times; perhaps the change in seasons? Do you ever feel that way? But thank you again and yes, I will try to work larger soon, very soon!

Anonymous said...

I think this one is beautiful - I am really glad you didn't toss it! The colours are perfect together and it has a wonderfully soft feel.

Also- thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog - I appreciate your insightfulness. I was really happy to find your blog through your comment! I have a BA in English language and literature and I love to garden too - perhaps we have other things in common as well. I'll definitely be back!