Thursday, December 27, 2018

30 Paintings in 30 Days, Part 1

Last year about this time I painted several small landscape studies because I wanted to experiment with color, composition, and mood. After making a painting a day for almost a week I decided to challenge myself and create 30 paintings in 30 days. It was a success though exhausting, but I feel it made me a better painter.

Most of the paintings were tonalist, a style which I had been interested in since Summer 2016. The 30 day challenge allowed me to explore tonalism and I enjoyed creating mood and atmosphere in my landscapes. In addition to tonalism I was inspired by Corot whose Barbizon landscapes inspired the later American tonalists.

The landscapes were also inspired by growing up in rural Prince George, Virginia. For the past couple of years I had wanted to paint landscapes inspired by the place I grew up. I created a few paintings, but they were in turn inspired by 18th Century Colonial Virginia. This series of paintings focused on my connection to rural Virginia and the beauty of the countryside depicted in the tonalist style.

Here is the first ten of 30 paintings in the order in which they were painted along with some commentary on each piece.

 6 x 8, Oil on ACM Panel
The first of the 30 paintings, inspired by the farm of a family friend in Prince George, Virginia. I used to metal detect on her land in search of relics from the Colonial period through the early 1800's. Often I'd stay til twilight hoping my metal detector would find something long lost and forgotten. 

6 x 6, Oil on Masonite Panel
This one was inspired by the James River Plantations in Charles City County, looking west across the James river at sunset.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite panel
Sunrise when the fields are covered in morning dew. 

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel, Private Collection
Summer Sunset in Prince George County.

6 x 8, Oil on ACM Panel
In the past decade parts of Prince George County have seen the development of land cleared for new houses and subdivisions, especially with the expansion and growth of Fort Lee. This painting was inspired by rugged tracts of land that had been cleared of the forests. 

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
I was inspired by the oppressive humidity of a hot Virginia Summer. I miss Virginia, but not the heat and humidity. 

6 x 8, oil on ACM Panel
Originally was a winter landscape-no snow, but reworked with asphaltum glazes last June.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
Sunset during a Virginia Summer.

6 x 6, Oil on Masonite Panel
This one was not a Virginia inspired painting. I wanted to try something with a pond.

5 x 7, Oil on Masonite Panel
This little painting is among my favorites. I love putting people (and sometimes their dogs) into my landscapes. It speaks to the human experience with nature and the moments in which we find peace or behold the evening light in awe. 

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