Moon Rise and Windrows

by Alden Cole on December 4, 2013 · 0 comments


acrylic on masonite panel, 24″ x 28″; framed in antique window sash, 27″ x 32″     Available for Sale

Friday, 20 September 2013: inspired by the creativity of the day before (yesterday’s post) I launched into another moon painting by daylight. The Lambert brothers had started haying the fields surrounding the farm on Thursday; by early Friday afternoon, when I focused on portraying the hills rolling down to the Saco River’s intervale, a substantial section had been cut, teddered, then raked into windrows, patterning the hills exquisitely, though very temporarily. I was glad to be there witnessing it, capturing the essence in paint. Timing is everything.

Another Day, another Moon Rise. Working with acrylics while vacationing in Maine or Vermont, or even Wisconsin last spring, has challenged me to work in ways very dissimilar to working with oil paint. Since I love a smooth working surface I tend to prefer panel – either masonite or wood – to canvas, although canvas certainly has its charms. I maintain that smooth surface by glazing the colors – building up thin transparent layers of paint to achieve the desired saturation, rather than painting in an opaque, impasto style. I’ve been using this glazing technique with oil paint for years; however the drying time required for oil is longer, extending the painting process over days, even weeks. Because acrylics dry so fast, I’ve been delightfully forced to acquire new techniques of paint manipulation – including the direct use of my hands – all of which has proven to be a fascinating learning experience. The technique is not as immediate as alla prima painting. Today’s artwork, for example, was painted twice the same day – the first time to create the composition in color, the second  to saturate the colors, since I was painting over a stark white background. Yesterday’s art, on the other hand, was painted over the natural dark-brown of masonite, allowing certain areas to be painted only once, and giving certain colors a depth that painting over white could not have achieved. All very interesting, at least to an artist. Questions?


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