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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stony Brook Boulders

This painting was done at a place I discovered while exploring D&R Greenway properties for their upcoming plein air show. It's at the Northern Stony Brook Preserve, deep in the woods between Featherbed Lane and Mountain Church Road in East Amwell, NJ. I've walked the trails here before but never this section and WOW what a nice surprise it was when I reached this spot! It was such an incredibly peaceful place to spend a few hours painting (even though the mosquitoes were brutal). Stony Brook really lives up to it's name here.

"Stony Brook Boulders"
11x14 oil on panel

It's interesting how different my painting is from the photograph I took at the exact same spot. This illustrates one of the key ideas about painting on location: that it's not about copying what's in front of you, it's about capturing the artist's vision and feelings. When I look at my painting, it really is the place I remember being at. When I look at my photograph, I hardly recognize the place. It is the same place, I guess I just see it differently than my camera does:

People often tell me that my paintings are so good that they look like photographs. I know that's meant as the highest compliment but I hope people can appreciate that a good painting is much more than a photographic representation. Ideally it shows the artist's very personal way of looking at the world, and it gives you some sense of what inspired them enough to stop and paint.

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