Tuesday, June 01, 2010


A Walk In The Woods   9" x 12 '   O/Panel

This painting started out as a "pink red" panel. I blocked in most of the dark background using a combination of Alizarin, Ultramarine Blue and Black. I then proceeded to, using a cloth or soft paper,
to wipe out the trunks of trees and large areas where the leaves were to be painted.
I then mixed the values for these areas and began to lay in the colours beginning with the darkest and working towards the lightest, the lightest, being the details.
The last part of the painting that I worked on was the figures.
The painting seemed to have more than it's share of 'verticals' which gave the painting an unbalanced look.
I decided that I would then apply strokes of paint to represent horizontal branches of different width. I made sure that the strokes or branches crossed the 'sky holes' at the top of  the painting so as to not let the sky holes appear as 'patches', but behind the trees.

This painting was executed with my usual limited palette and odourless mineral spirits. (where needed)

As an alternative, it crossed my mind to 'crop' the painting down, perhaps to fit a 8" x 10" frame ?..Hmmm..

'til next..

14 comments:

René PleinAir. said...

I like the painting but is it plein air?

Frank A. said...

Rene PleinAir

The scene is.. the two figures were added later or lastly..as mentioned in the description.(blog)

Now I ask..At what point is it a plein air ? At what point is it not. And, by whos' definition ?

From personal experience, I have destroyed four hundred plus (a close guesstimation) UNfinished plein air paintings at their time of painting. Why ? Because they were not finished completely "en plein air". (?)

I am not so sure that the plein air traditions of the past would support the exactness of the definition adhered to by many present day self righteous plein air painters.
Although lately, I can't say that I remember seeing any 'plein air police' enforcing intimidating plein air regulations.

However, I do feel that if one wants 'life' in a painting, one should paint from 'life'.

Having gathered these 'plein air' experiences over time and assuming that we (artists)are the sum total of our 'plein air' experiences,
I would think that the time will come when one should be able to draw successfully from these 'plein air' experiences and to be able to use them in his or her own time or convenience.
Or,why do it ?.


"I like the painting but is it plein air? "

It is,..by MY definition ! :~)

Take care, Rene..

Victor Errington said...

Hi frank.
Both are very successful. It is always difficult to choose one of your paintings to comment on, they are so beautiful, so I chose this one. I find cropping does help in the composition sometimes, but I think both of these are fine, they both work. Well done again Frank, and all the best.
Vic.

Susan Roux said...

Very nice painting. I love the feeling you captured. A lovely moment taking a walk...

Frank A. said...

Victor..Thank you very much for your compliment and for your input. Both are appreciated.

Stay well..and best of painting...

Alice said...

A wonderful painting Frank! From my view, the larger size is the only size..... the space is needed around the people to give the forest dimension. The small version becomes about the people... and doesn't have the same impact or interest.

Frank A. said...

Susan Roux

Susan, thank you.
I enjoyed your blog and inparticular your piece on the "bacon winner".
Your 'tongue in cheek' description of your visit with your friend had me going...for a second. :~)

Nice work, and continued happy painting..

Frank A. said...

Thank you Alice..I appreciate your compliment, thoughts and opinion on this painting.
Placing "people" in some of my scenes is a recent 'thingy' for me.

So...I guess it comes down to the "forest dimention" or the "intimacy" of the walkers. They each seem to be fighting for the same attention.
See my quandary ? :~)


Take care..

Nora Kasten said...

Frank,
Who cares if it is PleinAir or not! It's a very nice painting. . . .. and in the end, isn't that our goal?
Nora

Frank A. said...

Nora Kasten

Nora..Thank you for the compliment.

"It's a very nice painting. ."

..And, I also thank you for your thoughts on Rene's question.

In fairness to Rene,(beautiful 'stuff') I have in the past professed to being a plein air painter. I think that we differ in our interpretation of the definition only. (plein air)

". .. and in the end, isn't that our goal? "

..This is where I agree with you, in the sense that one is able to apply the "plein air" experience for the betterment (?) of the present painting.

Amen !

Nora.. Love your blog ! Love your style !I have found myself there a number of times

Continued happy painting.. :~)

rob ijbema said...

excellent frank,busy but not over the top.
the people were a nice surprise...i like the crop too

Frank A. said...

Rob, thanks for your comment. You may be right about 'busy' and it occurred to me that it may be attributed to the lack of 'squinting' and as a result, I got hung up on the many different spring greens and details.
This may be why, subconsciously, I suggested the crop.
Well, that could be my excuse and I'm stiking to it. (Ha ha)

Have a great summer of painting.

René PleinAir. said...

Hehehe Frank,

You put it very well, .. thanks!

Frank A. said...

Rene..

"You put it very well, .. thanks!"

No, thank you..for putting up with my little vent ! It helps to lighten the load, sometimes..

Hope that you had a great and successful time in France.

Adios..