Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toronto skyline

View from the Airport Ferry, Toronto 8x10 oil, copyright 2012
click to purchase this painting

This past week the weather has been wrecking havoc on my sinuses and my attempts to work on another plein air pastel.   One day I started out for my chosen spot to catch the moodiness of light freezing rain, only to turn back home when the rain became heavy snowfall in a matter of minutes.  Once the snow and blowing wind stopped a few days later, I headed out to the creek to catch what little snow had not yet been melted by the sun.  But I'm a bit of a cold weather wimp and gave up after about 45 minutes.  It's hard to hold onto the pastels when your fingers are freezing.  Thunderstorms blew through yesterday and now the sun is shining again, but it's uncomfortably cold again.  I think I will wait for summer to paint plein air.

During my frustrations with the weather I took breaks periodically to work on this oil painting.  After posting a pencil sketch back in November a friend asked if this was the prelude for a painting.  At the time the answer was no.  But I've found that when things get difficult with one piece, sometimes it helps to completely switch gears - oil for pastel, summer for winter.  The amount of detail in this one became a meditation of sorts, shutting off most of my mind to concentrate on shapes and shadows and light.  It really is amazing to me how little detail is required to make a building look like a building.  The biggest challenge is keeping all the exterior lines straight.

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