|"Central Park Snowed In"|
|"Snow Trees" (oil, 8" x 12")|
|"Snow Creek" (oil, 9" x 12")|
As you can see, I have a mini series going on here--snowscape with trees and creek/pond. If I paint the same scene over and over again, I will die of boredom and atrophy. But as I continue to explore the same theme with variations, I gain a deeper understanding of the theme. In "Snow Creek," I learned how the smaller area of the sun-lit snow seems to glow next to the much larger one of the snow in shadow.
In "Snow Trees," I grouped the sun-lit and shadowed areas and assigned them the two separate sections in the picture plane. I played around by intensifying the blues of the creek, to contrast them with the warm colors of the trees. But my main concern and fun was to figure out how to paint wet snow clinging to trees.
In the first painting of the new year, painted on the New Year's Day--"Central Park Snowed In--" I am back to the meandering stream and snow-coated trees. I am also contrasting a small sun-lit area with the rest of the snow-covered pond at Central Park, which is in shadow. I have become more ambitious, introducing the background, which is very different from the rest of the painting and works as the foil for it: the blurred skyline of Manhattan. I was also trying to vary the tones in the foreground to indicate different states of moisture from snow to ice (darker) to water (darkest).
Painting these small "daily" paintings has been a great tool for self-education and growth for an amateur-turned professional artist, which is who I am. Last year I retired from teaching history at a college, something I had been doing over twenty years, and began with much trepidation the adventure of a self-employed , starving artist. One doesn't get younger. It was now or never to do something I truly wanted. Wish me luck!