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.