Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Signs of Spring
Oil on Canvas 16" X12"

After a really lousy winter, spring has suddenly exploded here on the coast of Maine. It seems like it happened all at once. So, naturally I'm out looking for spring subjects as I'm pretty sure it won't last long.
This scene is at Willard Beach, just down the street from our house. I was amazed at the array of forsythia that appeared on the point at the south end of the beach. It was a clear day, so the yellow wasn't particularly muted even though the bushes were quite distant. Then suddenly a young girl decides to wade in the frigid water, so I had the pink of her shirt complementing the light green of the distant grass and foliage and a purplish beach in the afternoon light complementing the yellow. Some nice reflections helped out, too. Sort of impressionistic and a little eye-candyish, but I liked it.

Balancing Act
Oil on Canvas 14" X 11"

Near the north end of the beach I came upon this--a small rock delicately balanced on a large one. No act of nature this. I mentioned in a previous blog that there is a guy who wanders the beach in search of the makings of such creations, sculptured "Kilroy Was Here" markers. I caught up with him early one morning in the act and asked him why he did it. "For the hell of it," says he. His sculptures usually don't last long--wind and water do them in quickly-- but this one lasted about a week and finally disappeared in one of the astronomic tides. It's just a painting of rocks, I guess--a lot of horizontals and one major vertical. The distance lighthouse you see is really not as prominent, nor is the red marker buoy to the right, but I pumped them up to get some supporting verticals to help my not- long-for rock. I also liked the colors in the foreground seaweed which when seen from further away looks just brown. Then, back at the studio...

Road to Salzburg
Oil on Canvas 16" X 12"

...I was going through some photos of our fall trip to Europe and thought one of the Austrian Alps had potential. During the trip, a cruise down the Danube, we stopped in Linz, Austria and then took a bus to Salzburg. What a neat city it is, but that's another story. Along the way, we stopped at a lake called Moon See. It was early morning, the sun was just showing over the distant peaks and the mists and fog had not yet burned off. A bit of snow-this was late November after all--was in the foreground nicely balancing what was on the mountains. I liked the multiple planes in the mountains but it was the fog roiling on the lake that stole the show. I stuck a building in the near left foreground just so I could show smoke coming from its chimney to tie in the misty elements. In a way, this was to be my farewell to winter, but it wasn't. Stay tuned.


Amy Sullivan said...

Hi Jack, well when you disappear for a bit, you sure come back with a bang ! These are wonderful. Amy

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jack, I like the figure in the top one a lot, she really makes that one special.
The vertical/ horizontal balance in the middle one works well. Nice piece.
I am in upstate N.Y. right now and you are right. Spring is here in a grand way. Beautiful feeling.
I'll be on the Cape for a while painting. Probably won't make it up to Maine this trip, but I'll be back in July.
Happy painting to you.

Jack Riddle said...

Amy--Actually I really got tied up on a lot of things over the last few weeks, and couldn't get to blogging. So thanks for noticing and the nice compliment.
Frank--welcome to the US. Painting on the Cape should be great about know. Let's hope the weather coops. If you do get up here let me know. I'm sure we could marshall a good painting group. Otherwise, see you in SMA.

christine mercer-vernon said...

welcome back jack...i was wondering where you were! the colors in these paintings are so rich. i agree with frank, the figure in the top painting was a great addition, it really brings balance and that sweeping coastline brings you right around to her. of the three, the 'balancing act' is my favorite, the story gives the painting a behind the scenes life. very nice.

Jack Riddle said...

Christine--nice to be missed! I need to get caught up in a number of places. Visited your blog already and will "do the rounds" over the next couple of days. Thanks for your comments.

rob ijbema said...

are you sure Jack? it is nearly summer here!glad you managed to make the most of your spring.
nice clean colors n all these three paintings.
the addition of the figure was a good move and works well...
also love the yellow glow in the foggy painting

Anonymous said...

Wonderful paintings! I especially like the way you realistically captured the sky in all the paintings. I love the shades of colors and the contrast with the water. Glad you're back.


Jack Riddle said...

Rob--spring hardly exists here--maybe two weeks. Then it's summer. Along around mid August, it gets breezy and clear, but it's also a sign that fall will be comin' in. All short and sweet. I've got another group of spring paintings in the works. Will post in a couple of weeks or so. That probably will do it for this year.
Enjoy your beautiful spring/summer!

Jack Riddle said...

Paz--thanks for the comments. I've done a couple more Central Park pieces that I'll post soon. I wish I had a couple of weeks in NYC to just "see" and paint. Would spend at least a week of it in the park. Enviously, Jack

Ambera said...

Like Frank said, I also love the figure in the top piece!
Definitely completes the composition. I particularly like the trees in the top one as well, the simple pines in the distance are perfect. Great paintings!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Looking good Jack. I enjoy the stories too.

Jack Riddle said...

Ambera--good to hear from you again and thanks for the nice words. I should be able to post more regularly now.
Mary--Thanks for the intro. Love your blog. Let's keep exchanging visits

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Hey, I'm back. I love 'balancing act'. Just beautiful!
Enjoy this great weather, Jack!