Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trees at Fair Oaks

Sample painting for commission client
oil on canvas

Field One Palms
8x10 inches
oil on canvas

Notes From My Tree Painting Journal

This week I am in residence at my favorite place in the world, Fair Oaks. Being an artist in residence there means that I can come out to paint for a day most any time I like, but to live there for a week is a once a year privilege. I can't tell you how much I look forward to this week in February each year. The time flies by so fast!!

I am working on several painting projects this time, including a sample painting for a 40x60 commission that is looming ahead of me in March. The canvas should arrive from my canvas maker while I am away from the studio. I use French Canvas for all of my commission paintings. They make high quality and custom sizes for me. I brought 18x24 canvases with me for this residency and I have a tree painting in progress already that I've been plugging along on in the last few Sundays. The weather has been quite cold here, so I go out for a little ride around the fields and take reference photos of trees and then go upstairs to the studio to work on paintings, rather than be miserable in the cold.

I am trending back toward oils again after a couple of years learning to master acrylics. I will continue to use acrylics for my loft studio work, because it is a retail studio. I don't want anyone to be turned away by the oil paint smell. I love it, but there are many who have allergies to the paints. Acrylics are cleaner and easier to manage there. I have begun to do oils alla prima and on location again, but will probably continue with both mediums on location.

The trees at Fair Oaks this year are lovely and graceful in their bare winter grays and umbers. I so love the palette for winter in Florida. I like the combination of ultramarine blue, raw umber and lead white this time of year for trunks and limbs and distant atmospheric trees. I can bias it cooler or warmer as I need to. Good stuff!!

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