Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Two Friends"

Oil on canvas panel - 8x8
Completed 2-23-2010

I have painted these two palms a number of times. They stand in a hammock in the salt marsh near the Ft. George Inlet from the St. John's River. They interested me because the taller tree is straight while the shorter one has a graceful curve. In the autumn, the salt marsh changes from green and gray to golden and red. The broken clouds diffuse the usually bright sun in the afternoon.

I used a simple pallet of primary colors, viridian, and burnt umber. The darkest values are a mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson. I changed the composition and the colors a number of times in order to get the feeling I wanted. The impression I tried to convey is of the two palm trees that stand together in the vast expanse of marsh and sky.

Like some of my other small works, I worked on this panel intermittently over several days, so it really doesn't qualify for a "painting-in-a-day."

Rick Petersen

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Standing Alone"

Oil on hardboard panel - 10x8
Completed 02/06/2010 - Donated to charity

This picture is of one of the many hammocks that dot the salt marsh near our house. On many of them, a solitary pine or palm tree seems to stand alone at the end of the hammock away from the other trees. It is this tree that captured my interest as it seemed to be the anchor or the sentry for the whole hammock.

The time of day is late morning when the sky is its bluest and the clouds are like a multitude of cotton balls. That created problems for me in getting the colors to balance, especially the colors of the palm fronds. I finished the painting after nearly a week of work in fits and starts. Interruptions made it difficult, and the choice I made of the brilliant blue sky and scattered clouds complicated the colors I could use for the trees and foliage. I did a considerable amount of scraping off and repainting before I achieved the result I wanted.

Rick Petersen