Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Newport Paintings: Part II

This one I painted during the day. Again, this landscape painting features Newport Harbor, and is 5 x 7" done in oil on canvas board. This is another view from where I stayed looking to the bridge and Goat Island. The U.S. Naval War College is on the other side of the bridge. I would sleep with my windows cracked, although it was cool at night. This way I could hear them play the National Anthem at dawn, and Taps at night. I did not mind waking up so early. It was beautiful the way the water was so deserted that the sound carried over the Harbor. I chose analogous shades of green and blue to represent the brightness and crispness of the day in Newport.

Check back on Monday for my third painting in this series.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Newport Paintings: Part I

Here is the first of the 3 landscape paintings I painted entirely en plein air while I was in Newport, Rhode Island a few weeks ago. This one is an Impressionist 5 x 7" small oil painting on canvas board. In all three, I featured Newport Harbor as my subject, as we were staying right on the edge of it, and it was quite comfortable to sit outside and paint these small ones.

This painting was done at dusk on my first day in Newport. I felt relaxed, but filled with anticipation as I thought of all the beauty I would be sure to see in the next week. The sun slid behind the other side of the harbor, turning the sky orange, and lit up the harbor water until it turned a very light yellow. The homes across the way at Goat Island are deserted until the season begins. A lone sailboat is docked in the harbor, waiting patiently for its owner to come back as the day slips away with the sun.

Check back tomorrow for my next painting in the Newport series.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Painting: Semi-Abstract Landscape of Sunset

Here is what I've been working on this past week. This oil painting is yet another view of the Newark, Delaware Reservoir. It is 18 x 24 inches on stretched canvas, part of the series I am currently working on every day.

I chose Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson to be the stars of this painting. It seems like the brighter springtime weather in DC calls for a brighter color palette.

This painting was giving me a lot of trouble at first. I wanted to try something new and it just did not satisfy the painting in my head, so I left it when I went to Newport and returned to it when I got home. Now I am very happy with the result because it incorporates how I am feeling now and how the Delaware landscape made an impact on me 4 years ago when I took these reference photographs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Newport, RI Cliff Walk and Childe Hassam

Here are some photographs from the Cliff Walk in Newport I took a few days ago. The Cliff Walk is a great path on the Atlantic Ocean side of Newport, that parallels the mansions. Though the mansions were stunning, I was more interested in the rocky coastline. I had never seen anything like it in New England, let alone the East Coast. It looked like something from another country, or the West Coast.

Now I understand better what American Impressionist Childe Hassam painted. He was constantly painting the rock ledges of New England.

I adore the way Hassam paints. He is one of my favorite artists of all time. I wrote a paper on him in college in which I suggested that the rocks he painted were symbols of the permanence of American tradition. They are massive and unchanging to me, although the landscape is always changing around them.

You will be sure to see future paintings inspired by the Newport Cliff Walk and the rock ledges on the coast. I have been working on 3 small paintings on canvas board here, all of the Newport Harbor. I will post them soon after I return to Virginia.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Newport, Rhode Island

I am currently visiting Newport, RI for Easter weekend and for the next couple of days. Although I heard the weather in Washington was amazing this past weekend, I wanted to get away with my family for a bit to explore a new place.

April is the off-season, so as you can see from the photographs of Newport Harbor, the docks are empty of of seafaring folks. Despite this fact, Newport is beautiful this time of year. Every day has brought good weather, with different skies and dazzling colors each day.