Monday, June 1, 2009

Mental Prep Time

Producing a painting is not something you start when you sit down at the easel. For me it begins with an idea, an image, an experience that I take in and think about and play with and rework in my head over and over.
It was a beautiful day Sunday - a perfect day for geting the bikes out and riding on the Towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, one of the best places for getting inspiration.

I stopped a few times for photo ops along the trail. Look at the texture and vertical lines in this scene and the play of greens.

I almost missed seeing this guy. It was the reflections that first caught my eye and I hit the brakes and then I noticed him. I think the attention annoyed him. He was probably afraid that I'de scare the fish away.

This is a bend in the Cuyahoga River just south of Boston Mills. I took two widescreen shots and stitched them together. Can't you just see it on a 15 x 30" canvas?
I'll be doing a Plein Air Paint Out in the Park this month. Look to see similar scenes in my portofolio.


DEB said...

Lovely photos Kathleen. I've never taken my camera out to get photo references. I really need to. You've inspired me!

Jill Berry said...

Thanks for the nature walk.
Great shots.
If I were as smart as you I wouldn't be reworking my canvas so much.
Yesterday I went to the shore with no paint on purpose but I couldn't stop taking it's picture.

Karen said...

You are so right that the painting starts so much earlier. Aren't we always painting in our heads?!

Kathleen Harrington Paints said...

Deb, it really cuts back on the value of the exercise but knowing you have your camera with you keeps your eye keen.
Jill - theres something about alla prima.. but I cant learn to stop reworking things...

Karen - sometimes my problem is that I paint it in my head for so long that I never get to it in real life!