Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shad Tree

In my neighborhood the shad (service berry) are blooming. This high key painting`is done on a homemade panel of acid-free foam core and soft blue colourfix paper. I used Girault, Unison and Diane Townsend soft pastels with some pastel pencils. I find most of my painting locations within a two mile radius of my studio. I work out of the back of my Prius with the pastels laid out there as well as on my half box French easel. This paining took about two hours in the field. It is 8 x 10" and will sell at the studio for $325 framed in a 3" rustic gold wood plein air frame with no mat.

Of course two hours is not the whole story; first I had to learn how to paint a painting in two hours (and sometimes the time is chalked up to an unsuccessful painting...not everything is worthy of a frame), then I had to order & assemble the materials and make the panel, drive around assessing different spots for their potential to yield an interesting painting, paint while trying not to cover my face with pastel and swat gnats at the same time, then bring it back in to the studio and evaluate the piece for strengths and weaknesses, make minor changes and improvements, photograph it, cut and wash glass, attach spacers, secure in frame and enter into database and finally market and sell it. I suspect this is what people want to know when they ask me how it long it took to paint a specific picture. Some artists answer the question with "Two hours and thirty years" which I think is quite appropriate. As I've said's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

And on a perfect day like this I'm glad it's me.

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