Apr 212009
 


The light is, of course, con- stantly chan- ging. I knew from my previous visit that 2:00 was the optimal time for my first set-up location. By 4:30 the light had changed the scene completely, so I knocked off at that point. I’ve posted the canvas after two hours of painting.

After that, Josephine and I went for a walk up stream. There was another spot, shown below with me sitting on a big flat rock, that I wanted to paint on the following day. It is almost entirely in shadow until about 4:00, so I planned to go there after I’d spent the earlier part of the afternoon at my first set-up location.

The rock ledge at the bottom of my painting at the end of the first day appears disconcertingly upright in the painting. I would have to do some- thing about that. Also, the tree on the left would benefit by being narrow- er. That way, I could brush in a little more water on the left side of it.

I’m not very experienced in plein-air painting and am no doubt making all the possible mistakes one can make. I chose a detail of the landscape that I found particularly lovely: I could look through the clear water at the rocks, ledges and ripples of sand that lay at the bottom. Also the rock ledge invited me to scramble down the steep bank and get close to the water. The psychological invitation in that appealed to me. (I did in fact scramble down the bank on the following day, because my camera lens cap rolled down the embankment and fell into the stream, and I had to retrieve it.)

By focusing on this detail of the landscape, however, I’ve made it a challenge for the viewer to orient himself. The hillock upon which I’m standing isn’t in the picture, nor is the extension of the ledge that creates the near bank of the stream. That is why the rock ledge appears to “thrust upward” rather than “lie along.”

The adjustments I made to the composition will show on my Blog for Day Two.

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