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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

working with fog

"Oaks at Crane Creek" oil on canvas, 18x24in.

On the theme of painting larger paintings outside, here's another large painting I finished recently. We're in a typical late summer pattern of dense fog in the morning that burns off around 10 or 11 am. I like painting in the fog, partly because I don't have to worry about the sun glaring off of the palette or finding a shady place to set up. But it can be tricky because the fog is nothing if not fickle, and can change dramatically in a very short period of time.

I had scouted out a couple of oaks in the fog for a larger painting during a morning walk with the dog, and returned a couple days later with canvas in hand, ready to do battle. But when I reached the location, I realized that the fog was much higher than the other morning, and the subtle, dramatic outlines of the oaks I liked so much had morphed into some pretty mundane scenery. After some cursing and stomping of feet, I was heading back to the car in defeat when my attention was arrested by one of my favorite trees. I've used this tree as material for a block print because I love the one long branch that reaches out. So I stopped and painted. The result is pretty simple, but I think more effective for being larger.


At 12:20 AM, Blogger Jana Bouc said...

I know exactly what you mean about the fog. This came out so soft and velvety--and looks like that summer kind of foggy, not so cold but just softens everything. Beautiful!

At 3:46 AM, Blogger rob ijbema said...

i like the composition
and sense of space
why not enlarge small plein air studies in the studio!?

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Kris Shanks said...

Rob, thanks for dropping by! Up until very recently, the main reason for working entirely plein air was that I didn't have an indoor studio in which to work. Now that I've comandeered a little more space, I'm finding the process of creating larger works in the studio a bit daunting, and I haven't quite figured out why. I sense another post!


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