Autumn has officially arrived and not just according to the calendar. The air has undergone definite change with cooler morning and evening temperatures. Birds are "fidgeting"... gathering in noisier -than-usual flocks... anxious to depart for their southern destinations. A fall palette of yellows, ochre, reds and oranges quietly reveals itself. Almost seeming to blush into view amid the verdant and varied greens of summer.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am drawn to paint on location myself... outside in the quiet places now surrendered by often noisy and active vacationers. It is this solitude that draws me to these sanctuaries - places where the soul can bathe... medicate and meditate. The perfect cocoon for creative thought and activity. Even the pesky insect pests of summer cooperate.
Grass Creek Park is such a place nearby our present home. Because it is frequented only by dog walkers and their contented canine counterparts, there can be found numerous sites for the artist to set up and paint virtually unnoticed. Some sites even provide the added luxury and excitement of offering a view of the Saint Lawrence River.
My painting site for today's post is just such a place. While it is hardly tucked away in a secretive, inaccessible place... the time of year greatly reduces the usage of the park. An odd car or sedan gawked its way slowly past from time to time. However... most passed offering at most... a pleasant and cheery "thumbs up."
Here's the view that we shared on this late September afternoon. Can you see why I was attracted to this site and its composition? What catches and draws one's eye about here? Is there enough to attract attention and hold it... on canvas???
Note the simplicity of lines and masses, or shapes. See how they interconnect and harmonize... using the limited strong color to draw disparate elements together?
Step # One is to capture and maintain that simplicity during the lay in process
Step # Two is to look for strategic places to insert missing elements of "color surprises" to help guide the eye around the composition.
Step # 3 This step was conducted away from the site after a few hours (and a discussion with Deb) regarding what was not present in the site itself and needed to be added. In a few words... applying "artists' licence" - something from the soul that makes the creation your own!
"Summer .... Slip-slidin' Away, at Grass Creek Park" - oil on canvas 11 x 14 inches
Red is a color one that the artist should never shy away from. Rarely, however is it used in a purely "raw from the tube" application. Fall colors especially... bear the presence of both the greens that is being replaced... and the reds emerging. That makes the resulting new red muted.
The greatest need to bring this picture to a successful conclusion, is to recognize the absence of a strong, interesting and believable foreground. What better than to add a potpourri of fall flora that is on display directly behind you! Use it and arrange it creatively... as you please.
Search... and be aware of objects and momentary "visitors" within the frame of view that you have created. What did I add to create yet another source of visual interest?
Hope that you enjoyed sharing this "plein air" outing near Kingston, Ontario!
Good Fall Painting... to ALL! Get "out there"...wherever you live!