It’s About Time, It’s About Space

It’s a little over a week before I hang my paintings at Fiddlehead Café,

Hancock Inn
"Hancock Inn", 16" x 20", watercolor

Main St., Hancock, New Hampshire. I’ve been working on a painting of the Hancock Inn which is right across the street from the café. When I was invited to hang my work there I decided to go and take a look at the space. It had been a while since I had been there so I wanted to plan accordingly. It was a beautiful October day, with that gorgeous blue sky that seems at it’s richest in Autumn and brightly colored trees all around. With camera in hand I not only took pictures in the café I also strolled down Main Street looking for things to paint.

Not only was I inspired by the beautiful day, there’s also something to be said for paintings places people recognize. Being that Hancock is such a pretty town and someplace I’d love to paint, it was a natural.  Just about every building on Main Street is in the Register of Historic Places, so there’s plenty of interesting things to pick from. But the Fall decorations and the strong sun hitting the front of the Hancock Inn was irresitable.

Now as I get ready to decide if the painting is truly finished, I wanted to sleep on it and take a fresh look this morning, the scenery has changed. The leaves are just about all gone, and what’s left are burnt and dried out. The gray of November has taken over. Now we’re waiting for the beauty of the crisp white snow brightened by Christmas decorations like big red bows. Which is how I imagine the Hancock Inn will look by the time I hang my painting across the street.

So it seems we are always chasing time. When painting plein air, you cannot be chasing the sun. Decide where the shadows and light are going to be and put it down. By the time you’re finished with your painting, the light will look entirely different from when you arrived. So too, when you’re working a larger more detailed piece, like the Inn. Each day working on this painting the colors were getting farther and farther from the colors of that day. But that’s the way it seems to always be, chasing the sun, chasing time, putting the right painting, in the right place at the right time. Or is that even possible?

And now, another shameless plug for my 2011 Calendar – available now on my website. There is a wall calendar and a desk calendar and payment can be made through PayPal, without an account.

And yes, I stole the tile from an old TV show, remember it?