This painting is 72×48″ also, same as the image in the previous post. As I was working out some of the ideas for these paintings, I knew I wanted to do a few larger paintings, but was not sure exactly how I wanted them to play out. I stretched the canvases, made lots of sketches, and painted some studies to work out my ideas. After working on a few of these for over a year, I found certain subjects fit my approach better. One thing that was a big help was to have a lot of familiarity with the subject. The lobster boat is something I know very well from having painted so many of them over the years, so that seemed like a good jumping off point.
Another of my favorite subjects is the birches in my front yard, especially in afternoon light. I have painted lots of small studies and a few larger pieces, and I saw them as a chance to play with a vertical format and introduce some layers of color and abstraction in the lower half. For me the trick was to make sure I was happy with how the top half of the painting came out. I knew from experience that I was not as good at capturing the light on the trunks in the studio. As a result, I dragged this huge canvas out in the yard with tent stakes and rope and got a really solid foundation working on site. From there I was able to bring the painting in the studio and spend a few months tweaking the whole image to work in the way I wanted.