Rockport Red...

Marina in Red 18x24sm

 

Rockport Marine is a great place to paint, but it’s a bit busy in the summer with boats getting hauled all over the yard. Once in a while I get lucky enough to paint there on a holiday when things are quiet and I don’t have to worry about getting run over by a truck. The red buildings make a great backdrop for paintings of Rockport, and I’m starting to feel like I should send over some flowers and a case of beers for the owner of this place. He’s certainly made my life better by painting his shop red. I especially like the way all of these warm colors vibrate against the clean blue sky. This one is 18×24″ and was just dropped off at Dowling Walsh Gallery. I have a lot of new work at the gallery so if you’re swinging through Rockland you should stop by and say hi.

Wildflower bouquet...

Wildflower bouquet 16x12sm

 

A few days ago I came home to find this bouquet of wildflowers picked by my kids. It might not be the fanciest bunch of flowers, but it looked great to me. So on a rainy afternoon I brought them into the studio to pose for a painting. The painting is 16×12″. I like the limited palette of this scene. The one point of high contrast is the black centers of the flowers. Other than that, the colors tend to be fairly close in value, and only ranging from blue to yellow. It makes for a quiet painting.

Harbor Glare...

Harbor glare 16x20sm

 

Ever since moving to Maine, I’ve been playing around with how to paint light bouncing off water. I love the drama that comes with the contrast of a backlit scene. One thing I’ve noticed is the color shifts that happen within these strong highlights. The highlights on the boat here have a bit more pink in them. Some boat highlights are a bit bluer. The light in the water has a warmer, more yellow tint. Even though the first impression is just dark and light difference, the color changes in these highlights is what makes the painting feel more alive. I have to look carefully to see these subtle changes in color, but one of the benefits to painting on site is taking advantage of subtle color that is more elusive when working from a photo.

 

 

Around the Bend...

Around the Bend 12x16sm

 

I love this winding road. I painted this scene once before, maybe eight years ago. The view opposite this is a beautiful ocean view of a group of islands, but I love the way this road snakes through the landscape. The power lines and shadows also help lead the viewer back into the picture. This was a quick study of fleeting light. There was a lot of drawing to make this painting work, but once I had that down I just tried to match the big color shapes. The brushwork is simple and straightforward but sometimes that can make for my favorite paintings. This one is 12×16″.

Flags over Rockland...

Flag Days 20x16sm

 

It’s not easy to paint in town during the summer, but I really wanted to paint Main St with all the flags hanging. It was a bit hectic dealing with the traffic and noise while working on such a busy scene. It’s hard to paint a scene with so much detail, so I tried to simplify as much as I could. I can’t ignore the architecture all together, but I have to be strategic about what needs to be included. I try to base my decisions on where I see contrast and shadows, without feeling I have to explain each brick or piece of trim. Instead of painting the architecture as I know it works, I have to stick with painting just the shapes of color as I see them. Simplification is important whether I’m dealing with flags, buildings, signs or trees. My paintings seem to work best when I can see the worl as just shapes and colors.

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