Forgetting to turn the clocks back an hour for Day light savings time, we were up even earlier than usual this morning. Dean had the early morning shift at work. We finished off one pot of coffee and contemplated brewing a second pot.
On our 10 minute commute, I had my eyes on the skyline while Dean had his eyes on the road. With the purplish - grey-blue clouds resting higher in the sky a colorful band of golden yellows, warm oranges and pinks peaked through on the horizon.
I knew the perfect place to catch this beautiful fleeting scene. I headed down Harbor Street to Branford Point. There’s a slight bend in the road with a dip that opens up to the Branford River. Open marsh area on one side and on the other is the Branford River. The view faces directly to the east which offers magnificent reflections in the water and silhouettes of the trees near the condominiums.
What also caught my eye in this scene was the colorful refection on the side of the boat. The condos posed a challenge as to how much detailed should I add in. Should I paint every window and balcony? I tried to keep the brush strokes loose and not clearly defined and added in two small lights glowing from the windows to break up the building pattern.
I’m pleased with the way this painting came out, I just wish I could figure out how to photography it better. Each time I shoot a picture the darks are either too dark or they get washed out with reflective light. Conclusion: it’s best to see this piece in person :)
thanks for being apart of my art journey!
Don't Forget: Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studios - November - December 2020
Schedule a studio visit through our Shoreline Arts Trail website - www.shorelineartstrail.com
One hour appointments are available on Friday, Saturday or Sunday - Hope you can visit!
Tides are Changing Study was done on location at Stony Creek village. This is one of my favorite places to paint and I often talk about it in my blog posts, but this time I'd like to share about my painting process.
Painting from life is truly the best way to learn to paint. Back in 2012 when I started painting again, I would set up still life arrangements in my studio and paint small paintings 6 x 6 inches up to 12 x 12 inches. I was able to complete 2-3 small paintings a week even with a busy schedule of shuffling kids around from school to activities. Reflecting now this training was vital when it came time to paint en plein air. I didn't know this at the time, because plein air painting wasn't even on my radar. I was enjoying these small still life pieces. posting and sharing on Daily paintwork art gallery and displaying them in a local coffee shop.
It was in the spring of 2012 that one day after dropping off my step daughter at elementary school I pulled into the driveway and looked over at our garden and decided, that's it I have to paint this. I had a portable easel used a TV table and set up right in the driveway. I can remember that day so clearly because it was the absolute best feeling to be outside capture this incredible scene in real life, not from a photo.
Transitioning from studio painting to painting en plein air can present a new set of challenges for any painter. With weather changes, wind shifts, clouds moving and the sun is always on the move, no wonder it's easy to get frustrated.
This night a Stony Creek the sky had this beautiful pinkish orange glow, and just as the sun was setting it looked like it would be a magnificent sunset. Like so many we had seen before. But that wasn't the case tonight. The purplish blue clouds rolled in and eclipsed the sun and blanketed the sky leaving only a sliver of that gorgeous color to poke through.
This is when I had to make a decision, did I go with what I original saw or should I modify the painting to match what I saw before me. From past experience and many failed pieces, I have found it best to stay with the original vision, to the best of my ability. It's hard because that means you need to rely on your memory for color and your sketches for shapes. And that's exactly what I did.
The next morning I worked a little bit more on the plein air study back in my studio with a few quick glances at the photo references. Which were really not that much help because they didn't capture the beauty that I saw with my own eyes.
I knew I wanted to turn this piece into a large painting. I had 30 x 36 canvas available and started the "block in" or first layer. This is one of my favorite stages, it moves quickly and within an hour I have the base down. Like a skeleton, it's the bones of the painting. From there I start to work the larger areas, the sky, clouds and water. It was when I got to the details of the boats and the houses on the islands I found myself stuck.
My small plein air piece didn't give me enough information, nor did the photos. So that night we head over to Stony Creek just about the same time the night before. But this time the sun was just too bright, the glare was too strong and the photos were completely washed out.
On to plan B, the next morning I headed back again around 8am, I knew the lighting would be completely different but my goal was to spend an hour just sitting on the dock with my sketchbook in hand drawing just the boats, islands and houses.
Back to the easel I go, I had enough information to tackle just about all the missing pieces but the lobster boat in the foreground. Since the boat was turned the other direction I couldn't get a clear view inside and at the angle I thought was just right.
So, what did I do, yep, I headed back to Stony Creek the next day hoping the star of the show would be in the right place to capture another sketch. No chance, I did a few sketches waited about a half an hour to see if it would turn but it wouldn't budge.
Plan C, I hopped in my car, drove down the street, parked my car in front of the library and walked down Hull's Point Road. Peaking between each house to see if I could capture the lobster boat in just the right angle. I truly hope the neighbors weren't watching me. And then I spotted it, I had to hold my camera up high in the air to shoot a photo over the dock in the foreground but I did it! Back to the studio I go!
With this last round of reference photos I was able to complete the painting. What an adventure but so worth the effort. I'm so thrilled with the way this painting came out and now, I'm ready to start another!
Thanks for reading and enjoying the creative process with me - it's always nice to have fellow sojourners to travel with -
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Painted at Branford Point in the the park near the pier. It was late July into early August when I set up my easel one morning. I love painting at Branford Park there are always folks walking around, fishing, swimming, jogging and biking. It's a busy spot but it never seems too crowded.... well, expect for weekends.
Behind me is a quickly ascending hill that's covered with trees and foliage. It makes for great shady spots to paint and gives a nice panoramic view of the harbor and Branford River.
I met so many wonder people while painting. A father with his young son in the stroller, a couple who the husband's name is Bob Ross! A lovely lady who grew up in Branford and shared a few fun stories about what the local scene and how it's changed over the years.
I truly love living here in Branford. It's a very friendly community.
30 x 36inch on gallery wrapped canvas.
Sides are finished. Wired and ready to hang.
available in online shop here
This painting is based off of a plein air piece I did one evening while my husband Dean was fishing at Stony Creek, Branford, CT. A favorite place for us to just hang out and relax after a long week of work. Only minutes from our home, we often take an afternoon walk along the trolley trail or just grab a bit to eat and sit down by the water to watch the sunset.
It was busy this evening, we could smell the fresh baked pizza pies from the Market across the street. Folks were filling up the grassy area with lawn chairs and coolers. Chatting away and enjoying each others company. The children played in the sandy beach and splashed in the water.
I tucked myself away on the other side of the gazebo, down near the water in a small sand bar. As the tide shifted from high to low more rock formations appeared. As the sun dropped lower in the sky the bright pinks, oranges and yellows peaked through the soft hazy purple clouds.
I could see in the distance the lights of the coastal homes flicker on as the evening progressed. It's early September now and the days are getting shorter as the fall season approaches. Sunrise is a little later each day and sunset a little earlier. But no matter how long or short the day is, taking the time to enjoy a gorgeous sunset brings a sense of tranquility and peace to my soul.
When I asked my husband, what should I name this piece? He quickly replied Tides are Changing. Hmmm... I like that! Now that was easy. That's not always the case though, naming a painting can be very challenging. Trying to condense all those thoughts and ideas of what this painting is to convey in just a few words can be tricky.
For my husband, he likes to think more literally. That was exactly what was happening when I painted the plein air study. But for me the title Tides are Changing has an even greater meaning.
This year has been a year like no other. Who could have ever predicted all that has happened in our Country and around the world in 2020. Without getting into the details and rabbit trailing to the negative, I want to focus on the beautiful things that can transpire from something so damaging.
How we as humans can go through such distressing times where things are turned upside down and we're in the middle of a storm yet we make it, one day at time, one foot in front of the other. Where we can look back and say that's behind us and instead we fix our eyes on what's ahead.
We can feel the shift in our spirit, that as the day closes we can say, we've made it through another day. And as each one of these days fills the calendar pages our confidence is found not in anything we have done but when we put it in the hands of our Creator. The one who loves us. Who cares about us and who is there for us. All we have to do is search for Him and he is there.
We ride on the wave of hope knowing that there is God of Universe who is for us and not against us. Yes the tides are changing and it's for the good. Faith over fear.
This painting and two others will be featured in an upcoming show at Friends and Company Restaurant in Madison CT. Sept 9 - October 19, 2020.
I've asked 7 of my artist friends to join me in a Plein Air Art Show based on our Wednesday Morning Plein Air Group with the Madison Art Society. Each week a few of us would gather together to paint at various locations along the coast and surrounding towns.
We will be holding a Paint Out and Demo for a Show Reception on Sunday Sept 13, from 3-6pm - All are welcome to join us. To see the rest of the show and enjoy a meal at Friends and Company it's best to call the restaurant for reservations.
Address: Friends and Company Restaurant
11 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT
Thank you for being apart of my art journey - hope to see you at the show!
#artshow #MadisonArt Society #pleinairpainters #FriendsandCo #madisonCT #LindaSMarinoart #lindamarinoartist
Harbor Street View, Branford, CT , acrylics, 24 x 36", gallery-wrapped, available
We finally made the move! We are now officially Branford residents! Just a few short weeks ago we were packing and toting boxes, wrapping and donating lots and lots of stuff. We made the leap over the Hwy 91 headed just a slight southeast on the CT map and landed in Branford, CT.
I really could have said "I told you so" back a few years ago because Branford has been one of my favorite places to paint and meet up with friends for hmmmmm.... 6 years! As the calendar year turned the corner from end of winter to early spring I could feel the itch to head down to Branford. Soon the town green will be cascading pink from the dozens of cherry blossom trees that run up and down Main Street. The boats will appear back in the harbor and their white plastic covers will cast aside.
This painting is of Harbor Street in Branford, CT. It went through a few stages and modifications but I have to say, I'm thrilled with the end results. The first time Dean drove down this road a few years ago, I knew someday I would paint this scene. It's been in my mind for a while. A few times Dean would park the car just off to the left side of the road and fish. I would stroll down Harbor Street snapping photos for reference. I loved the charming old New England homes with friendly porches or decorative architectural details from an era past.
I took a few artistic liberties in this piece, added the cars, changed the color of the houses and added a porch... that's the beauty of painting... as I continually remind my students... and myself.
My vision was to capture Branford's charm and coastal feel with vibrant colors and an all around feeling of a welcoming shoreline neighborhood. Although Harbor Street appears to be a direct and fairly straight route from Maple Street when you look at a map, the drive is quite different. It has just enough curve in the road to offer a welcoming surprise as you round the bend. You could even miss the water if you had your head down looking at your phone ( that was me). So I had to catch it on the way back.. and that's the view that one would see as they make their way back to town from Branford Point.
For us, it's only a mile away from our new place.. so excited to be such close proximity to so many beautiful places to paint!
So happy to share with you my vision of our new hometown - Branford!
Linda S. Marino Art
Branford, CT 06405
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