Studio Notes

a pair of geese flew by; outside my studio window; i’m glad elephants don’t fly

It feels like it has been overcast for months!

Overcast days can be a challenge when an artist likes contrast to describe a subject. When it has been overcast for many days at a time, it is easy to fall into a state of gloom because everything looks grey. Alas, I have to paint something, but outside. I need to get outside. 

I follow a few artists based in the United Kingdom, and they make the best of their weather which can be overcast or foggy relatively often. So how do they describe their landscapes and still make them feel colourful? They master mixing different colours of greys. They have become well versed in these greys that when you see their paintings you see what look like a colourful mix of beautiful greys—a careful hierarchical play of lights and darks that are mostly somewhere in the middle tones shifting subtly between each other, and subtle colour intensities directing the viewer to the main focus in the painting. The overall effect gives you a sense of the place in the painting, and you are gently encouraged to keep on looking. Go get yourself a cup of tea, (I like cream and sugar in mine.) make yourself comfortable on a chair, look into the painting, and sigh. Good tea. So relaxing. You want to be there.