TM9345 Quiet Morning at the Quarry 36×36 oil on panel
Maybe it’s because I went to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams and saw work by an artist, Clifford Ross, who was as impressed as me by the heroic paintings of the Hudson River School painters. Along with the early Dutch landscapists, the Hudson River painters were my go-to artists to study and emulate as I learned to paint. I think their veneration of nature struck a chord, while their fascination with detail felt natural to the etcher in me.
Quiet Morning at the Quarry is my response to what I saw at the museum, Sometimes, going back in time can also push one forward. Enjoy. Details below.
TM9345 Quiet Morning at the Quarry – detail from far wall of quarry
TM9345 Quiet Morning at the Quarry – close-up with water and reflections
TM9345 Quiet Morning at the Quarry – detail from right side
TM9341 Gloucester Quarry 7×7 oil on paper
TM9342 Stopping by the Pond 7×7 oil on paper
These two mirrored compositions with still water and reflections are a delight to paint. The “other” world, upside down and mysterious, needs to be convincing but not fussy. I used a palette knife plus a little brushwork to find the forms. The colors are less saturated – by September the greens start to look a bit tired, as if they really can’t wait to get the dressed up again in gold and yellow. Enjoy.
TM9331 New England Coastline #12 7×7 oil on paper
The scarred fingers of ledge reaching into the water at Bass Rocks are such a gorgeous color – all ocher and red oxide, not like the grey granite found toward the middle of the state, or like the maroon, black, and deep mars violet cliffs you can find up north between Lubec, Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. So much color and geometry, so little time! Enjoy.
TM9332 New England Coastline #11 7×7 oil on paper
Layers and intrusions, it looks so different near high tide! I especially love the purple/green seaweed on some of the lower surfaces. On it goes!
TM9330 New England Coastline #9 7×7 oil on paper
The summer studies continue with this small painting from Bass Rocks, so easy to recognize with that honey-colored glow. This one is on a rougher watercolor paper, which lends its coarse texture to the stone. I used a shellac primer so the texture wouldn’t be compromised by a heavy pigment coating.
TM9327 New England Coastline #7 7×7 oil on paper
Watching these old cliffs take a battering from the angry sea, I can’t help being astounded that they have survived for so long. They do endure…..
TM9325 New England Coastline #5 7×7 oil on paper
There’s ample opportunity to practice painting granite around these parts, including this little oil painting from Cape Ann.
TM9322 Up on Bass ROcks 36×48 oil on panel
There’s a time for drama and a time when quiet is most appreciated. Up on Bass Rocks seems to be a meditative, peaceful morning, with a view out to sea and a retreating fog bank. But in truth, if you love geology, the thrill of touching such an ancient mountain is fantastic. In some ways, the painting is about time – long, stretched out time. The ancient granite, bruised by glaciers and pummeled by the sea, is alive with crystals and abstracted by fractures. To paint it, one’s own sense of time has to slow down as well. The layers of paint and texture can’t be rushed; the tantalizing forms need to reveal themselves. Enjoy.
TM9322 Up on Bass Rocks – close-up of granite with bands of quartz crystals and yellow lichens
Technical painting notes: The painting was built in layers. The first layer of paint, applied with a soft roller and crumpled (re-used) plastic film, was rough, streaky and transparent. I spattered mineral solvents on the paint and re-rolled the surface repeatedly to achieve grainy textures. I also spattered paint in places, for more depth. The opaque dots of paint contrast nicely with the open spots where the mineral spirits has left deficits of paint. When the first layer was dry, I layered transparent glazes, then painted into the wet glazes with soft brushes and more transparent color. Occasionally I applied paint with the roller, to get more interesting “accidents.” Additional layers of glaze and stippling refined the color and textures.