Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Views from the Front Yard

This is the third year in a row I have painted the sun setting through the neighbor's spring foilage and ivy-covered hackberry. This scene looks especially magical in the evening, when the setting sun blazes through the red and white blossoms and stains the grass gold. It's fun adding in the white autos, which add some hard edges to the scene and balance out the white cherry tree. This year the dog, a little chow mix, happened to pose while I was painting.

Spring Evening - 8x10

I took a break from "Spring Evening" to paint "Paddington" from life. He was a 13-year-old chow mix with partial paralysis of his limbs and organs, and a small extension on life. He was supposed to be put to sleep a week prior to the painting, but a last-minute second opinion bought him new meds and more time. He briefly improved, but soon he appeared to be having pain and anxiety. He was peacefully put to sleep about a week after I painted this study. I'm giving it to the neighbor in memory of the little furball.

Paddington - 6x8

On another evening I did a very rapid study of the sun burning a triangle of light through the neighbor's yard. I think I got the values more accurate on this one, so I used it as a reference and deepened some of the values on the first painting. It pays to paint multiple paintings of the same scene!

Triangle of Light - 6x8

It's good that I painted the spring scenes while I could. Shortly after "Triangle of Light," the weather became steadily overcast and drizzly. It's possible that the blossoms will be gone once the sunny weather returns ... such is the impermanence of spring, and really of all life. Plein air painting keeps the essence of those moments alive.

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