In the Vicinity of Green is another rainy day, but instead of the pond, a remote saltwater inlet on Campobello Island. I was delighted to see the range of greens in the water and the trees – they provided an excuse to play with a slightly different palette. I found this spot by following a road on Campobello, and then happening on a small sign that indicated a swimming spot with an arrow. No one was there. In fact, the place didn’t feel much used, although it was absolutely lovely.
Technical painting notes: The painting began with a scumbling of transparent greens, ultramarine blue, burnt umber and a touch of mars black. When that layer was dry, I began drawing in the geometry of the tree trunks, then “carving out” the sky. This provided the structure for the upper half of the painting. I then proceeded to define the ledge and started painting the reflections in the water. Each day I added definition to the forms, working mostly with transparent pigments and some titanium white. The day I visited the site, and the photos I took, were all from a brighter, though overcast, day. As the painting developed I felt something was missing – it seemed too straight forward. I was about to sand the whole thing down and start over when I thought of trying a glaze of gray green over parts of the painting, to tone down the color and introduce some soft notes. The effect was reminiscent of the morning fogs off the ocean, and I decided to pursue that course. Lifting fog provided a sense of mystery and was a prevalent condition in the area – I wouldn’t have to start over!