Friday, July 06, 2012

Even a boat can be interesting if the light is right

I'll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about boats or fishing or almost anything to do with water. I can swim. Period. I do like the way light reflects on water and I love old worn things though. There were three of these little rowboats on the shore of Lake Ocqueoc near our cabin. I think all of us painted them at one time or another. I walked down to the beach one morning (not really a beach- more of a boat launching area for which I do not know the name). I loved the early morning light and I got a late start so I had a two hour window to do this painting. The reason for the late start was I did another painting EARLIER that morning. This would be a record-breaking day for me, as I ended up painting four plein air pieces in one day.

This is my favorite painting from our trip to Lake Huron. It seems to capture the "feel" of the northern Michigan climate nicely. Or at least how I perceived it. Paintings are a little bit of shared history and the artist can't help making them personal. That's why everyone's paintings are different, even if they're painting the same thing. I've observed this many times when I set up a still life in a room full of students or go out with friends and paint the same thing and we all end up with completely different paintings. Everyone views a scene in a very personalized way. I think we're wired to do that. If we weren't all the movies ever made would be similar; clothing designers would be out of work and life would be incredibly boring.

So while some people might look at one of my paintings and say-- "Oh- that looks so real!" I've had a lot of people- mostly kids- say that, and yet, when you compare it to what is actually in front of me- it isn't. It is MY VERSION of what is real. I think you have to paint for a long time to really be able to wrap your mind around that concept.

11" x 14" oil on canvas

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