Friday, July 19, 2013

Sun-burned Dawn, Oil on canvas, 10x20
Sometimes I feel like the guy in the donut commercials dragging himself out of bed in the wee hours. "I've gotta go make the painting." I was up way before dawn two mornings in a row to capture this sunrise a few blocks from our house. On the first morning the sky was uneventful, so I worked on the foreground. The second morning the sky was amazing for about 20 minutes. I caught what I could, but as you can imagine, looking into a sunrise like this can be tiring on the eyes. Actually, it can do serious damage if you aren't careful. I was standing behind a lamp post and had my giant brimmed hat on as usual. Still, I had to finish in the studio after my eyes had plenty of time to rest.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Six in the Morning, Oil on Linen, 12x16
When I set up my easel earlier this week, I thought the sunrise fog over this pond was going to be the focus of my painting. I just about had it roughed in when the egret landed on the stump right in front of me. I love egrets so I quickly sketched him in. Of course he only stuck around for a few minutes, so as soon as I had him painted I returned to the foggy scene. 

Seven in the Morning, Oil on Linen, 12x16
All the while, I kept looking over my shoulder to the west. I loved the way the light and the shadows played in the trees and across the reeds in the distance. I decided I would come back and paint that scene on another day. 

Low and behold, I happened to glance over to this other scene to the west and noticed that my egret had taken up residence in one of the trees. Immediately, I grabbed another canvas and roughed him in. So now I had two unfinished canvases.

So the next day, I came back and worked on the first painting between 6 and 7am and the second painting between 7 and about 8:30am. It took one more visit this morning to put finishing touches on both paintings. Although he flew by a couple times, my egret never stopped to pose again on either the stump or the tree.