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House on a little island


I was thrilled to be in Maine last week for painting.   Even though I am familiar with many painting spots, I always find the first day tough to decide where to paint.

There is a small house on a near by little island which I have taken pictures many times before.¬† The house is really a small shed and the proportion of the roof to its height makes it an interesting subject for painting.¬† However, it is hard to paint as it is a bit far away from most of the public places.¬† I was excited to find out that the house can be seen up close from one of my friend’s place.¬† I decided to paint it the very first day.

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I composed the building in the center to make it an iconic painting.¬† Since I have been enjoying framing the subject, I added a lot of space all around the building to keep the space open.¬† For color inspiration, I have recently started to look at Morandi’s still life.¬† His colors are muted but at times he would introduce a strong color which is unexpected, and it would eventually give more life to the painting.¬† Although I have been thinking about how Morandi may have been inspired to pick an unexpected color in his muted surrounding, I kept my color palette¬†true to¬†nature.¬† At the end, the surrounding atmosphere became creamy grey; inspired by Morandi.
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Iconic theme continued into the second day.  I visited the Ferry building which I have painted a few times before.  I planned the drawing to juxtapose the architecture of the building and the rocks on shore.  I borrowed the rocks from the near vicinity which were worn down and unbalanced, and placed them right below the stairs of the building.  I spent some time drawing the rocks using ivory black  and loved the loose effect from this.  I decide to leave it with the addition of a few minimal renderings.


Although I only had three¬†days to paint, I decided to take another opportunity to paint the same house again.¬† This time, it¬†was composed from¬†a¬†different perspective and I painted it at a¬†different time of the day.¬† I had¬†been thinking about Stuart Davis since my last visit to his retrospective show¬†“In Full Swing” at the Whitney Museum.¬† My drawing continued¬†to have invented space and frame, inspired by Stuart Davis.¬† After a few hours of painting, it showed¬†muted colors, it was¬†dark but not exciting.¬† I revisited Morandi’s work and changed the surrounding green color to a bright¬†cobalt blue.¬† It made the painting more exciting because of this unexpected color which was an¬†inspiration from Morandi’s work.

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However, in retrospect this painting might still needs some work.  I am planning to revisit this again once the paint dries.