Friday, November 04, 2016

Two Paintings from Summer

I'm back!  Actually I never did leave, I just stopped paying attention to the blog because Instagram has taken over my social media.  But once in a while I do need to post in this blog to be able to explain more about the process and progress of recent projects.  Such is the case about a color I recently added to my palette and I don't know how I lived without it before.  This summer while painting in Prospect Park, my friend Charles shared some of his Chrome Yellow Primrose paint.  I've known that this is a historical color highly used in the nineteenth century, and slowly it's use declined due to the introduction of Cadmium paints.  Due to it's precious status I was never inclined to use it, but Charles placed a big dollop on my palette and my life was changed!     
It was perfect timing since during those weeks we were painting around Prospect Park Lake, which was covered in one section with a bright green-yellow plant call Floating Water Primrose...coincidence or fate?  With Chrome Yellow I was able to achieve a bright green yellow mixture, but one that was not as acidic as a Cadmium mixture.  Cadmiums most of the time can be hard to work with because they can be too intense, and trying to tone down that intensity without effecting the clarity of the color can be very tricky.  With Chrome Yellow I was able to get the desired brightness but without the unnatural acidic effect of a Cadmium Yellow.   
Floating Water Primrose, Prospect Park Lake, 2016, oil on linen, 10 x 14 inches 

Chrome Yellow aside, there was another change happening starting with these two paintings, and that is the full use of hog bristle brushes.  It's been years since I've used bristle, but I think using sable brushes have caused me to become too detailed, and that's not good when painting in plein air because it takes too long to finish a painting.  Most of the time I don't finish the paintings in that first session.  Using bristle on these two paintings allowed me to be more free with paint and it also brought some much needed texture to my work.
Floating Water Primrose, Prospect Park Lake No. 2, 2016, oil on linen, 10 x 15 inches

Here they are, the last two paintings of summer, at least the ones painted in NYC.  Six plein air paintings from Bali coming to this blog very soon, stay tuned!

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