Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quiet Crossing

Quiet Crossing, 10 x 8

This picture was painted from some pictures I took the morning of my weekend trip to see my daughter's out of town swim meet. As I said in my last post, it's a beautiful drive (Texas beautiful, not, say, New England beautiful) and I'm glad I stopped to take some shots. The only problem was that the sun stayed behind the broken clouds all during the limited time I had to take shots and still make the meet in time.

I tried to paint this scene more sunlit than it actually was, but with limited success. I also was trying out gesso board for the first time, so it's pretty rough looking. I'll need to practice on it before I feel comfortable with it. Maybe a paint upgrade to Gamblin would help. If you paint on gesso board, any advice is welcome.


Kim said...

I think it's great Stephen. Strong colours and lively brush strokes. Very nice.

julie davis said...

Love the composition, Stephen. And, I agree, Texas IS beautiful!

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

I love simply all your works, they have a modern expressive that I like so much and it is difficoult to reach, for me you are a true talent

Kaylyn said...

Stephen, I had a very bad experience with cheap gesso board...it was very slick and plastic-y and nothing would stick. I since bought some real ampersand Gessobord and like the texture much better as it is lightly textured like illustration board or smooth watercolor paper and is slightly absorbent so the first paint stays where you put it.

It is a change from canvas, to be sure. But especially on small paintings, I like the smoother texture. The scale of the canvas weave on a 5x7 or even an 8x10 can be distracting.

Keep us apprised of your continued experimentation?

Stephen Parker said...


Thanks for the info. I was unable to find an email address for you, so I have to reply to you here. Hope you see this....

Yes, I wanted to try gesso board for the reason you mentioned, i.e. that on small paintings, the weave of canvas can overwhelm the painting. I did paint on an ampersand gesso board, but because I don't use terp or thinner to keep my brushes clean (just linseed oil, paper towels and lots of brushes) I think I need more tooth than the standard ampersand surface to take the fresh paint (topmost layer, with least contaminated color) evenly off my loaded brush for the first stroke or two. After that, things can start turning to mud even for people who clean their brushes frequently with thinner. I think gesso board may be more of a problem for me because of the dirty paint deeper in my brush. And, this obviously becomes more and more of an issue the longer I work on a painting without taking a half-hour break to clean my quiver-full of now dirty brushes — a buzz kill if ever there was one.

More experimenting to come, but again, if anyone has tips on this, please let me know.

Angela Elledge said...

Whoa!!! Texas is beautiful and I love how varied the state is in its beauty. Excellent composition, like the Z or S path that pulls you in, great contrast and variety in the shapes; very well done!