25 October, 2015. I don’t know why this plein air sketch got overlooked, but a recent comment on a later entry to this blog from November reminded me of the outing. The comment was brief: “shinto shrine.” I presumed the writer to infer a certain metaphorical connection to the later sketch. Perhaps it was only coincidental that immediately behind me on that particular November day – perhaps less than fifty yards, in fact – stands a simple post and beam structure, situated cozily beside a pond. Open on four sides, with a small bench placed underneath for contemplation and communion with nature, this place looks remarkably like a Shinto shrine.
And it was this reference that led me to recall standing under the simple roof as I painted the pond a few weeks earlier.
Unlike today’s wintery conditions, the Fall foliage was in full color. As usual, I was less concerned with capturing the photographically accurate rendering of the place and more interested in communication of color. Thus, the clear ultramarine sky became bleached, with a hint of mint, and the path, nearly hidden from view from my vantage point was given greater emphasis, along with the warm patch of empty hillside. Greens tend to aggravate me to no end, and I look for ways to introduce variety and neutrals in an often elusive quest, a fine balance between believability and loosely blobbed paint. (Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, Liberty, Missouri. Gamblin oils on 9 x 12 panel, about 45 minutes.)