Showing posts with label field paintings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label field paintings. Show all posts

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Howard County Conservancy Fall Festival

Goldenrod on the Hill, oils on canvas panel 12" x 9." Contact artist for price.

Late Afternoon Hills, oils on canvas panel, 11" x 14." Contact artist for price.
Yesterday the Howard County Conservancy was holding its Fall Festival. I had not known about this local organization, whose headquarters are in a 300-year old farm donated to our county by the last generation of its owners. The non-profit group's mission is to help preserve agricultural farmlands and unique historic sites in the county. The conservancy has built a community center on the site, the Gudelsky Center, which has an art gallery now exhibiting "Vanishing Howard County: A Collaborative Art Exhibit Pursuing the Themes of Conservation and Preservation in Howard County" (Whew, that's a long title for an art exhibit!).

The Howard County Plein Air Group had scheduled a paint-out during the festival and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day: the crisp early morning temperatures warmed to a delightful afternoon.
I met my two new pastel artist friends, Deborah and Maria. The morning dew was heavy on the grasses; the fields of goldenrod and dry grasses amid mown fields formed wonderful patterns. A few more painters joined us as the morning wore on, and lots of visitors stopped by to look as we worked on our paintings.

The Conservancy is quite close to my house, about fifteen minutes, so I decided to go home for lunch and return for another painting in the afternoon, though by that time all the other artists were gone. The the late afternoon light glowed on the dry grasses of these fields turning them red and gold. It's such a difficult color to capture! I set up amid the tall grass to avoid being in the path of the hay-ride wagon, and worked until about five-thirty. By then the hay rides were over and it was so quiet I could hear the cries of birds.

I kept thinking of Henry Hensche's dictum that every change in form is a change in color, wishing I had been able to make more of a distinction between the near and far grasses on the hills in the morning painting. The afternoon painting is more successful at giving a sense of the shape of the folds of the hills. Now that I know about the Howard County Conservancy, I will be going back there to paint soon--there are lots of trails to explore there.

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The Field at Tanglewood, oils on canvas panel, 11" x 14." Contact artist for price.

Above is one of the paintings from the Olney Plein Air that I hadn't photographed earlier (my painting of The Backyard Naturalist sold and I didn't get a photo of it). Interesting to note how the vibrant greens of summer vegetation have changed to the earthier yellow-greens of early autumn in a scant three weeks. The trees are starting to change, though fall color won't be at its peak for another few weeks.