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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finding Color

After a long, cold and snowy winter, spring has finally arrived and it's nice to be able to get back outside to paint again.  But as nice as it was to paint outdoors, one problem was that everything appeared so gray and colorless, more so than usual - maybe because of the brutal winter we had. The challenge was to find some color in the scene and exaggerate it enough to make a good painting while still keeping it realistic.

This painting was done on the last day of winter along the D&R Canal in Ewing, NJ.   The foreground bridge is the Septa commuter rail line running from West Trenton to Philadelphia. The bridge in the distance is Lower Ferry Road:

"D&R Canal, Last Day of Winter"
8x10" oil on board

The rusted railroad bridge provided a nice bit of color, but I really played up the warmth of the trees and the blue of the sky reflecting in the water.   I think this contrast of the blue and the warm browns in the water really brings some life to the painting.

This next one was done on the 2nd day of spring at the still undeveloped Mercer Park North West off of Cold Soil Road in Lawrenceville, NJ:

"Mercer Park North West, Beginning of Spring"
8x10" oil on board

Here, the sky really was a beautiful blue, but the field needed some help.  In real life it was a cool gray but had some warm browns in the distance.  I played up that warmth and also the hint of red in the tree line caused by the swelling buds on the trees.  The color was there but you really look to find it.

And speaking of color, this coming weekend is the last weekend of my show "Local Color" at Artists' Gallery in Lambertville.   The gallery is open regular hours:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 6pm each day.   We're not closed for Easter.

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