Ode to the Winter Ice Pond

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – final version 36×54 oil on panel

The line between abstraction and realism is almost non-existent. Impressions, nuances, an impulsive color or gesture – these elements can determine the context in which we re-cognize a place or an emotional state. Ode to the Winter Ice Pond is based on my (sometimes) daily observations of a local ice pond freezing in winter. It records the changes, from open water to the first scrim of thin ice to frozen ripples. Some of the gestures are from grasses caught above and below the water, or the reddish branches that can seem so vibrant when stripped of their leaves, or outlined with snow. Is it realism? abstraction? impressionism? I don’t like categories. I just love to look, and then paint. Anything else I leave for you to figure out.

This painting went through a number of transitions, I thought it would be interesting to share its development.

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – Day 2 with all the primary masses and values blocked in

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond 36×54 – Day 3 many of the details have been strengthened and multiple glazes brushed on to the panel to intensify the color, however the sweep of grasses and reflections on the left side was too pronounced and moved the viewer’s eye too quickly. – this would need to be resolved resolved, along with intensifying the feel of ice, frost, and more layering to create depth

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – final version 36×54 oil on panel

Details from the finished painting.

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – detail from right side with ice forming – I softened the edges with semi-transparent, gray-violet glazes

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – detail from upper left

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – detail from lower edge, softened and smudged will rolls of nearly transparent grey glazes

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – detail from upper right with ice and frost – the soft rubber roller was used to smudge the wet paint of the calligraphic frosty grasses, then used again to soften the glow of the sheen on the ice forming around the grasses

TM9503 Ode to the Winter Ice Pond – detail from lower left with slight ripples and open water

Technical painting notes: While the colors of winter at the ice pond are somewhat limited, I used warm and cool versions of the blues, greens and reds to keep the painting’s palette interesting

2 thoughts on “Ode to the Winter Ice Pond

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