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Monday, January 01, 2007

Amwell Valley Winter

Here is my latest painting, just finished yesterday. It's a scene across the street from me which I painted from photos taken in previous winters. We haven't had any snow at all this year, and it's been so warm lately that it feels more like spring than January. This scene is looking out over Amwell Valley towards Somerville, NJ, from my perch on the Sourland Mountain:

Amwell Valley Winter
"Amwell Valley Winter"
18x24 oil on canvas

I painted on a canvas that was toned with yellow ocher, and did the initial sketch with an alizarin crimson oil stick - some of those red lines still peek through in the field. I'm just starting to experiment with oil sticks, and I'm not sure if I like them. They are basically oil paint formed into solid stick - sort of like crayons but they are still traditional oil paint. So I did the initial sketch with oil stick, then proceeded to my trusty old brushes and tubes of paint. The sticks have some potential, but I think they'll be better suited for hard surfaces like masonite panels. It took a lot of pressure to draw with them, and the stretched canvas was too flexible a surface for this.

Here's the photograph that I worked from - it's from a series of panoramic photos that I did from the same spot overlooking the valley. I love how the cloud mirrors the lines in the field, so that's what I focused on in the painting:

Amwell Valley Panorama

That was my last painting of 2006 and this is my first blog post of 2007.

I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

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