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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

painting large

"Trout Stream" 18x24in oil on canvas
"Trout Stream Study" 11x14in oil on panel

I was glad to read the comments from my last post about the difficulties of creating larger paintings while working outside, and to hear I'm not alone in struggling with larger canvases. I tend to paint either 8x10 or 11x14, but sometimes I like to work even larger. It's hard to cover a larger surface in one sitting, and it's not always possible to go back to a location to finish, but I do like the challenge. My current strategy is to scope out the location beforehand, and do a smaller painting if I can. Then when I return, I don't have to spend as much time deciding what it is I want to paint, I can dive right in.

An example is this pair of paintings from my painting/camping trip to the Carson Pass area. It was a kingfisher that was responsible for me finding this little bend of the creek. I heard it calling and moved off the trail for a look, and then stayed to paint the wild abundance of lupine and indian paintbrush in bloom on the opposite bank. I came back the next day to try and capture the large log that was submerged in the stream. I'm not entirely certain the willows in the background are really working in either painting, but it was a magical place to paint listening to the occasional "clop" of the rising trout.


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