Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Winter Bench

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas sheet
Available through DPW gallery/auction 

Using only 4 values and painting only shapes -- this was the direction in this weeks DPW challenge. And it was definitely a challenge to do! 

The image is a photo I took back in the winter, of a neighbor's bench during one of our countless snowstorms upstate. Everything looked so serene and everything was so quiet as the snow fell (and fell and fell). As it collected on the tree limbs I noticed that it was almost framing the bench. And I could remember the children sitting on that bench in the summer, eating their watermelon slices, swinging their legs to and fro, as they stared out at the lake. It seemed as if the bench was holding those moments within it and was simply waiting for the summer to return - and the children.

So out came the camera and I recorded some shots of the scene while it was still visible. The snow increased in intensity to quite heavy after the shots were taken, making the bench barely noticeable. Have you ever gone to get your camera and come back to find that the shot is gone? Well, it almost happened on this - but I was lucky to capture the moment before it was gone.

When I read the DPW challenge rules I thought "shapes painting! I can do that!" -- but it was the limit to 4 values that gave me my challenge. And I thought of winter, and snow -- and then I remembered this bench shot. Looking through my images I found this one and decided to paint it - using 4 values: the darkest is Paynes Gray, next is Paynes Gray mixed with Titanium White and a smidgen of Light Blue Permanent, next is Light Blue Permanent mixed with Paynes Gray and Titanium White, and the lightest is Titanium White with just a smidgen of the Light Blue mixed in. I left the details out and focused on the shapes only - those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have done "shapes" paintings in the past, so seeing shapes & not objects was the easier part of this challenge.

All in all, I'm rather pleased with the outcome. But if I paint this scene again (and I probably will one day) it will be with more color and more than 4 values! And I think it would be great to capture the summer version of this bench as well, including the children & watermelon!


AutumnLeaves said...

You've captured the coldness of winter beautifully, Nan. I'm thinking you can't just do summer and winter though...a lovely grouping would be to do all 4 seasons!

Virginia Floyd said...

Love the painting. The snow on the branches is just wonderful! And the post is so interesting. I loved reading the story behind the painting.


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