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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oxford and painting all day today.

Oxford has a quiet elegance that is especially enchanting in the early morning.  I was up early and biked around the town looking once again at the well kept gardens, stately homes, and harbor environments.  My goal was to locate the perfect painting spot close to "home".  I located a quaint harbor near the Masthead Restaurant just a few blocks away.  I left the bike at home and packed the car with my pastel materials.  I drove to my painting destination.  

After getting set up, I found a subject that intrigued me--- the morning sun hitting a white boat with many shadows in the water and buildings surrounding it.  As I blocked in the main values with hard pastels, the heat became more and more oppressive.  I was becoming physically ill.  I must confess that I completed the block in from the air conditioned comfort of my kitchen table.  I started this picture by blocking in with hard pastel and then brushing solvent over the pigment.  This stains in the base values.  I also allowed it to drip and run to help paint the water.  This should be dry tomorrow and I'll build it up more.  Here is how it looks in this beginning stage: 
I'll show you the changes tomorrow.  I worked on another pastel of the Masthead Restaurant's outside sitting area.  Here is how it is coming along: 

Another thing that has interested me today is the knots that boat people use to keep their boat attached to the dock.  This artsy girl did macrame in the 70's.  Maybe that is why these knots are so interesting to me.  

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