After we were done, Howard and I had pizza and beer in a favorite place in Sutter Creek and we talked about plein air painting and the need to shake off constraints and accept that some - many - paintings will not be successful in their own right. That's always easy to say and difficult to accept, but learning and growing is as much about what you do that doesn't work as it is about what you do well.
On this wonderful bright day, I picked a simple subject. Perhaps I should have tried some of the more picturesque old western structures in Amador City, but I found these dark shaded shop doorways against a brightly lit building front to be interesting. As I painted I experimented with a palette knife for texture and interest. As I did so, I was thinking of famous artist Tibor Nagy and my friend Ruth Andre for inspiration. I admire the palette knife work of both. (Ruth was going to join Howard and I but had to cancel due to not feeling well.) I was judicious in my palette knife use - 'letting go' is still a struggle for me - but I think the texture created with the knife saved this painting and gives it some character. I'll be taking a workshop with Kathleen Dunphy in April, so I used her limited palette of cad yellow lemon, naples yellow deep, permanent red medium, ultramarine deep, gold grey and white. It's a palette I use more and more anyway, with some variations, so this was a good time to stick strictly to those colors only and get in a little more practice.
Back in the studio I restated the darks using a knife and lost some edges using mostly my fingers and then signed it. It was a super day. Howard and I vowed to get out again soon.
|Amador City Shops Oil on 12 x 12 linen panel|
|Setting up in Amador City on a gorgeous Valentine's Day|
My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art