Friday, September 30, 2016

September Cornfields

Every week I drive to Clay City, Indiana for work and one of the things I love about the drive is the range of rural landscapes that I see through the seasons.   I'm always inspired by something that I see.  Always.

The past couple of weeks, I've been watching the cornfields and so I painted this piece.   The cornfields out here are the first things to turn colors in the fall.   From early September until late October the colors are spectacular.   I'm hoping to be painting a lot of autumn inspired pieces over the next couple of months.   At the very least I'll be taking photos for reference later.  

I'm developing a painting 'process'.  I paint like I write.   In the first draft I get down the main idea and I play with a few options.  It's messy and ugly.  Then I start refining and adjusting and trying new things in the next drafts.   I've done as many as 15 drafts of the same landscape.   I stop when I've learned what I need to learn or when I get something I really like.

This is only the third draft of this particular piece and I'm really quite happy with it.  I learned what I needed to learn and I don't need to do another draft of it.   In this last edit I made the sky a much brighter blue to really emphasize that cloud and to balance all those bright golds.   I also added a dark shadow on the road from the corn so that the day would look really bright.    I strengthened the darks in the front at the base of the corn and at the back behind the cloud of dust on the road behind the bus. The roof on the house was originally dark green.   I asked Claire for feedback and she said I needed some red, so I changed the roof to red, which made the house a better focal point and an obvious destination for the bus and the eye.


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