Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Broadway Belle - A Beauty Still

Go To Louise Sackett Fine Art

I finally got around to painting a little old lady I met.
She’s a lovely old Victorian house on Broadway, at the top of the hill, below the old County Admin offices in Silver City.  I have wanted to paint her since I first saw her. She is a designated historical building, one that has a for real name. But I call her ‘Broadway Belle”. She’s been on Broadway a long, long time. But she still retains some of her allure.
She has had her porch removed and rebuilt and has survived a whole lot of upgrades since she was first constructed. Right now she is for sale and needs a coat of paint. I was trying to figure out when the light would be most advantageous to her, and finally said ‘to heck with it’, and painted her yesterday morning.

This is the beginning, where I block in the darks, planning
the shapes.
Perfect light is not worth trying to plan. The light never takes a painter’s needs into account. I can paint a location all morning and never have that shaft of light happen that Richard Robinson says is God’s finger saying “PAINT THIS”. So why wait? You might as well do it when you can, and forget the desirable light. In any case this house was fairly well lit, off and on, with a cool light in the early a.m. that made for a lot of interesting angles with that complex Victorian roof line. I learned a lot painting this piece, like why I don’t paint buildings very well. I guess I get lost in the puzzle-like character of the shapes. People like Lori Putnam, Shelby Keefe and Greg LaRock make it look so easy. I wish that it were. It’s not for me. So I trudge on, painting buildings in the hope that they sooner or later will start to look more plausible. At least not look like they are on borrowed time, unless they actually are.

At this stage I am playing with the colors and determining the foreground.
 I was playing with a burnt red oxide and ultramarine violet this time. I actually thought that the ultra violet couldn’t be that far off the mixing properties of ultramarine blue. Man can pre-conceived notions be wrong. I really liked the softening qualities of the violet, how it subdues strident chroma when using it in a mix. It’s very different from the blue. And I tried their crimson. It’s a softer more controllable color than alizarin crimson, yet it has deepening attributes when combined with a Cad red light. It’s actually a lot like a carmine pigment. Actual color matching was not what I was mostly concerned with in this painting. I was actually more into getting the light and architecture right, than the color accuracy. With all the downed leaves, the only real natural color, other than the sky, was the yellowed grass and the evergreen spruce. There were no flowers, and the bushes all had that 1920s dun and beige color thing going on.

Broadway Belle
11x14 Oil on board
The good thing about getting out there to paint regardless of the conditions,  is that sooner or later you will find something that is stunning. Like the alley I ran across at 9a.m., downtown. I mean to go back there and see if I can find that light again. Lots of trashcans, lots of kitties, cars, and lots of light. I need practice with cars too. If I remember correctly, it was just down the street from the Broadway painting site.
Maybe that finger of God was there after all.

Favorite quote:
"Don't be afraid to let a good painting go in the pursuit of a great painting."
Rick Howell

To learn about a plein air competition for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Project, and to win cash prizes and a chance for a two person show,  click here and go to Downloads. 

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