I Brake for Pecans © 2011 Karen Mathison Schmidt
7 x 5 inches • oil painting on Gessobord
gloss varnish for UV protection and easy cleaning
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See work-in-progress photos after the puppy pics below.
I was sorting through some pictures on my computer this morning, and I came across this one I took last fall. It was a beautiful cool day, and I had taken Trixie, our border collie mix, for a long walk down our road; on the way back we rounded a curve and saw this gentleman picking up pecans by the roadside. I loved the way he stood in silhouette in the shade of the trees, and the way the sun glinted off his red truck. It may have taken me a while to get around to it, but I just KNEW this would be a painting some day! My favorite part: the railroad crossing sign in the distance.
While I was going through photos this morning I also happened upon all the puppy pics I took three years ago when Matilda had her puppies:
Here are Mickey (who was adopted by our house painter), Blue and Sophie having a romp in the "puppy pool."
Matilda having a bit of a cuddle with Sophie.
And all three just chill-laxin’ after a play session. Sophie is on the far left, Blue is the one on the far right, dreaming of being a big dog one day.
Looks like his dream came true!
And now, work-in-progress photos for today’s painting:
I started with a red acrylic background for this one. I’m becoming quite fond of starting with a red background, especially for summer scenes. When I started adding the oil paints, I started with the most detailed part, the truck and the man, because that was the most intimidating part to me, and I wanted to dive right in and get that part out of the way.
Some spontaneity kicked in when I added the grasses and little white flowers in the foreground. Hey, why not?
I used blues and purples for the shady part underneath the far oak trees.
I defined the shapes of the trees by painting in the negative space of the sky. I had intended to make the trees mostly green, but when I got this far, I really liked the way the red underpainting looked in the crowns of the trees, so I went ahead and painted those parts mostly in reds.
In the final version, below, I painted out the power pole on the left ... I apologize to anyone who had become attached to it ... I felt it just wasn’t adding anything to the composition. I also lightened up the road a little and made the divider stripes and little deeper yellow.
And now, I have to go ... I have a movie date with my husband; I’m meeting him in the living room in ten minutes, where he promises to have fresh popcorn ready and waiting. I don’t know what we’re seeing, but he says he’s sure I’ll like it!
Good night, all!