This is the small 6" x 8" plein air panel that I promised to post. It was completed in 1 1/2 hours during a bitter snowy afternoon with a 40 m.p.h. freezing wind blowing the whole time!
It started off being a painting all about the Oak tree standing alone in the open field. Catherine and I had seen and photographed this tree earlier in the day catching the beauty of the light effects in the snow. When Catherine and I returned in the afternoon, the sun had strengthened its grip on the day allowing wonderful long shadows to form in unison across the open fields. They lengthened as I painted, and I was in danger of breaking my own rule of chasing the light and changing moods in its rendering.
In the end the painting became less about the tree and more about the shadows of the dying day. I featured the tree in the end, seeking only to add dimension to the landscape and some degree of proportion. Really though the essence of the work was in reducing the shadows and light effects to mere patterns and shapes of interest. applying them in their almost elemental form.
I will be working on several versions of this scene over the coming months as I was captivated by all that it had to offer me as an artist. I know Catherine is planning several watercolours based on the same theme. We both agreed that it will be used in some of my sporting works in the future too.
Finally we agreed that we would visit the site in the spring, summer and autumn to record its seasonal moods. This particular landscape is a simple one yet seems charged with an infinite number of possibilities with regard to its artistic potential.
I hope that you like this little study and I hope that I managed to convey to you the freshness and feelings of the day.
Best wishes Paul