Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Light Trap

December 6, 2009

I promised you that I would share the painting that derived from the photograph of the farm in the last rays of the setting sun. Rather than paint the entire scene, I homed in on the buildings because they really were what I was primarily responding to as I stood out there watching the light change. I particularly liked the way the light ‘smeared’ across the side of the house section with the many windows and two doors. There is a big apple tree just out of the frame that caused the shadows in that section. But, the real challenge and enjoyment—for me—was the way the light bounced off the main house and lit the wall at right angles to it. It seems like a ‘light trap’ designed just to show off how light bounces around and becomes ever more fetching as it does.

FYI: there is no white anywhere in this piece. All the light tones are variations of yellow or tan. The blues are still not rendered correctly in this photo of a painting of a photo....but, I will keep trying to get it right. The tonal scheme completely bamboozled the white-balance in my camera.

I decided to simplify the composition by leaving out some elements that seemed to distract from the 'light show'. It's very easy to let a painting become so rich in detail that it feels cluttered and overdone. Simple is good.

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Lisa McShane said...

I like this one a great deal. The shape of the mountain is very much like one to the south of me - Blanchard Mountain in Skagit County Washington. It has similar farms at the base. My eye is drawn to the blue shadow on the house. Love that.

Sarah Faragher said...

Beautiful light, and a very pleasing arrangement of shapes. I went back and compared this to your photograph, to see the differences - taking out those trees was a good move, as was leaving in that little shrub on the corner, and centering the structures. Reminds me of that great book, "Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn."