Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chromatic Gray

Here's a view of the Connecticut River from Middle Haddam yesterday.  This is a 12x12.  Sometimes the square format suits a subject well.  I've painted at this location many times, almost always using a horizontal format, and usually with a high horizon line.  But yesterday afternoon's clouds were so spectacular that I had to make them prominent.

It was also a good excuse to play with subtle variations of chromatic grays.  For non-painters, that's a fancy way of saying gray formulated from primaries, rather than black and white (which tends to be ashen, and not suffused with color).  Chromatic gray is how Mother Nature mixes gray on her palette.

I always enjoy the lyric in Counting Crow's song "Mr. Jones" that goes: "Yeah, well you know, gray is my favorite color."  Adam Duritz, however, probably was singing about gray because he thought it had a cool grunge connotation.  I like chromatic gray because of the subtle beauty of its seemingly infinite variations, and the way it serves as a foil for more vibrant colors.

Ah, color theory.  Gotta love it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ready to Plow

It's been a beautiful spring here in Glastonbury.  This week at Horton's Farm, they were dusting off the tractors, preparing to plow the fields.  Just after I started painting, the green John Deere was called into service.  But fortunately it returned to pose for me after a couple of hours.  I like the contrast of the old and new tractors.  I guess painting is generally all about finding and balancing contrasts -- color, value, even subject matter.