Showing posts with label Patuxtent River painting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patuxtent River painting. Show all posts

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jug Bay Paint Out

Jug Bay Wetlands, oils on canvas panel, 11" x 14." Contact artist for price.
Last Saturday the weather was beautiful for the MAPAPA Paint Out Plus at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary on the Patuxtent River.Thanks to MAPAPA President Gary Pendleton, our group had obtained access to River Farm, an area of the sanctuary not normally open to cars. Two master painters, Lee Boynton and Sam Robinson, would demonstrate and talk about their approach, offering helpful tips. Since I have not been in the plein air class this fall, I was really happy to have an opportunity to see Lee and some of the artists who have become my friends through his classes.

Lee Boynton's painting demo, early stage
By the time I got there Lee had started his demo and was holding forth about his favorite subjects: color and composition. He had chosen an old red barn with an inviting curve of road leading to it for his subject. His panel was almost covered with paint, but there were still some bare spots where I noticed  a deep Mars Violet tone showing. This was new for me--Lee usually recommends we start with white panels the better to judge color--so I asked him about it, and he shared that at one time he used to tone his panels, but several of his students would tone theirs in such garish colors, he decided it was better to recommend everyone start with plain white panels. Over the summer he had gone back to toning his panels and was enjoying the results. To tone or not to tone? That IS the question.

After watching Lee paint for a while, we all started our own paintings. I set up by a picnic table overlooking the river so I wouldn't have to bend down to the ground to set up my palette. I had a molar extracted two days earlier and was still hurting (my face was quite swollen); I didn't want to move around too much. A young lady I'd met at another paint out shared the table with me. Lee came around to offer advice. He asked me what the focal point of my painting was to be. Frankly, I hadn't figured it out. He suggested I try to place something where the lines of movement in the composition were leading. I decided to place a boat on the river, but I am not sure just how successful it is. I like the colors and the rest of the composition, but I think the boat may be too small for the desired effect.

While I was eating my sandwich, Sam arrived and set up his kit. I went over to watch--he was working with water media, but it was not transparent--it was gouache (I had thought he was a watercolor purist). He was working on a toned panel too--a mid-tone neutral brown--which served him well. He explained that gouache allowed him to work with a technique similar to oils, except that it dried so quickly he could build up layers of color for a loose, impressionist look. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take photos of his work--fascinating!

Jug Bay Beach, oils on canvas panel, 9" x 12."
In the afternoon I moved down from the hill where I'd been to a small beach on the river. Here the width of the river was more apparent, and the golden reflections of the trees on the water glowed. Despite the loveliness of the afternoon, I'm afraid this painting did not turn out very exciting--I was definitely not feeling my best and the painting shows it. Still, I was glad to get the practice and spend a wonderful day outdoors in this special place. I'd like to paint here again before the season ends.