Londontowne Garden, oils on canvas panel, 11" x 14."
I had been wanting to return to Londontowne to paint in their fabulous gardens overlooking the South River. Today I got my wish--our painting class met there to avoid the commencement weekend traffic in Annapolis.
The day was overcast and after last night's downpour, cooler than recent days-- a welcome change. Our teacher Lee had brought a copy of Kevin MacPherson's book, "Fill Your Paintings with Light & Color" to show us MacPherson's approach to blocking in a painting, which is very similar to Lee's. BTW, I met Kevin MacPherson and his wife in Santa Fe when I was there a number of years ago (he lives near Taos) and he's not only a very nice person, but an excellent teacher and writer. I treasure two of his books--this one and "Landscape Painting Inside and Out: Capture the Vitality of Outdoor Painting in Your Studio With Oils" (both these books are available from Amazon.com).
Lee prefers to start with the lights rather than darks in his painting, to keep the colors more pure, but also recommends we work on areas that are adjacent until the white of the panel is completely covered. Today we also talked about how to select a site conducive to a good composition and what elements are desirable. We walked around the garden until we'd found a propitious site, so we got started a bit late.
While we worked, the clouds thinned out and a patch of diffuse sunlight illuminated the grassy edge of a flowerbed, providing a nice focal point for our paintings. Most of us stayed late to develop the paintings as much as possible. I'm not sure my colors are convincing or very harmonious here; I don't believe further refinement would improve this one. As it was, I didn't get home until three in the afternoon.
We'll have another chance to paint here again next week. I'll have to remember to bring my camera and a lunch so I can stay later if I want to.