The temperature hovered around 90 in the shade today with just a sliver of a breeze mid-day.
I found a cool enough spot close to the tallest tree on the island and set up my easel, squeezed a little alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cad yellow and white onto my palette and took in a deep breath of fresh air. Ahhh, settling in to my new favorite place to paint.. the Thimble Islands in Stony Creek, CT.
Only 25 minutes from my home, it seems a world away. I can get there either by back roads or highway and today I opted for the highway. Thinking it would be quicker just to find myself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic heading into New Haven. However, I made it to the dock with a few minutes to spare. Met up with a few of my fellow painters and waited for the 9:00 ferry. The 5 of us headed over to Little Governor's Island to paint with Maureen who own's a house there.
With yesterday's watercolor painting of Boy's Wading by Winslow Homer fresh in my mind, I set my intentions today on water tones. Homer's ability to capture the tones and depth of water whether shallow beach or deep sea is worth taking note of. From my observations today I would guess that Homer must have painted the Boy's Wading sometime mid day because the green reflections in the water didn't appear until after lunch.
Winslow Homer, born in 1836 and died September 26 1910 is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art. From wikipedia: Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific body of work, primarily chronicling his working vacations.... wait.. stop right there.. did you catch that? .. working vacations? how many people would describe there vacations as working vacations? aren't these two words polar opposites? Well, this marriage of words has to have resinated with so many artists that I know, especially my fellow plein air painters. Whether it's a 25 minute road trip to the Connecticut coast or a trip around the world, a working vacation can happen just about anywhere, anytime when you've got your painterly glasses focused on creating or re-creating the magnificent beauty that surrounds us all. All you have to do is slow down.. and pay attention.
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