Friday, January 08, 2010


Anatomy of a painting 1

I am trying not to watch the mailbox for Volume VIII of the Diary. Really, it should be here any day now. Right? Arg...

So, since I'm not reading Pepys, I returned to painting after a bit of a break over the holidays. Yesterday and today I made my first painting of 2010, and I thought I'd celebrate by doing something a bit different here. I photographed the painting while I was working on it, so here is a work-in-progress for you.

For the past few years I've been rather obsessed with certain islands off the coast of Maine, most of them located in Penobscot Bay. The subject of this new painting is a small island called Thrumbcap, which you can see from my friend's dock on Islesboro. I've painted it many times, in many different ways, and this painting is one I've had on my mind since fall. So I'm glad I finally decided to get on with it.

I knew I wanted to make a large (for me) painting, with the island slightly off-center and reflected in the ocean, with a big sky overhead. This is how I saw it in September when I was last there in person.

Step one: an undersketch in burnt sienna on the gray gesso I always use as a painting ground on my canvases and panels. I stretched this canvas back in December, the last time I prepared a big batch of them.

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