Thursday, May 28, 2015

Painting on the Outer Banks

"Currituck Lights" 10x20 oil on panel
    Two weeks ago we spent a very pleasant time at our house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Being there offers lots of time for me to paint and plenty of wonderful subject matter so different from what I see at home.  One of the things I enjoy doing while there is setting my easel up on our west side deck overlooking Currituck Sound and waiting for the sun to set.  Then I paint as quickly as possible enjoying the freedom of just working with color much as I used to do when I painted abstracts. This one was created loosely, defining the cloud formations and brushing in broad areas of color as I was seeing them before me. Then I photographed the painting and the sunset and completed the job the following evening. Even though the clouds weren't the same I was lucky and the colors were. I had enough light from the well lit room behind me to continue at this stage when the sun was below the horizon. I loved being able to add the twinkling lights on the mainland across the sound.

"May Sunset, Currituck Sound" 6x12 oil on panel
     This much smaller, 6x12 inch painting was painted very rapidly all in one session. I stood under the gazebo on the deck placing my easel behind one of the corners so I wouldn't be blinded looking into the sun.  I would step back and forth between the light and my panel and I can tell you I was seeing spots quite often! It is exciting and challenging to paint like that particularly trying to capture the extreme light.

    Concentrating on painting the sky like this not only creates new paintings but I can use them as references for skies I want to paint in future paintings back home.