An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
The Development of a plein air abstract work - "Henlopen Winter Trail"
A. The Setting - Henlopen State Park, south of Lewes, Delaware. This is a pristine seashore with back dune habitat including a mixed oak-pine forest.
Components of the scene:
1. Trail is at first covered with oak leaves then revealed as bare white-shells, leading into a forest shrouded in mist.
2. Oak-pine forest flanks the trail.
3. Yellow grass lines the sides of the trail.
B. Stage 1. Initial sketch with white paint. Some painting in, including the trail merging with the misty forest and the yellow ban and clumps of grass. An orange area of oak leaves is at the bottom center.
D. Stage 3. The panel is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise. Now,
the two pine tree trunks run across the top of the painting.
A second sketch of the scene in white is superimposed on the
E. Stage 4. The pine tree trunks on the right are painted in. At this point I let the painting set for a day or so, trying to decide if it was done.
F. 'Completed Work'. After some brightening of the colors, I decided it was 'completed'. Now I had to decide at what orientation(s) the work could best be viewed. Since, I usually paint on square panels as well as rotate the work then continue to paint, I find a number of my works can, I feel, be viewed in multiple ways. What I have decided for "Henlopen Winter Trail" is that two orientations work for me. These are: Views I and II:
View I is the original orientation of the panel for the initial sketch (Stage 1.) - the two pines on the right and the yellow line of grass to the left with the trail moving through the middle of panel into the mist at the top. Now the pine trunks, incorporated into the work during stages 3 and 4, appear as 'shadows' casted by these initial trees.
View II. The panel as shown in View I has been rotated clockwise 90 degrees.
This, for me at least, transforms the work into something surreal - a Munchian scream, perhaps.