Repainting the Green House with the Pier


I started to paint the green house and the pier on a foggy day. The interweaving of light and dark under the pier, reflection, different lines and shapes, and muted colors motivated me to paint this view.  However, the view did not translate well into the painting.


Repeated small shapes and muted colors made the painting dull. The light cerulean blue top was an attempt to introduce cooler tone to otherwise gray and warm surroundings.  It somewhat helped the painting but that was not enough.  After painting into the evening, most of the issues were still not resolved.


I revisited the painting a day later with a fresher look. Inspired by the sun, I decided to warm the gray to match the surrounding. The busy pier was simplified. The right-hand side house was changed to a darker color.  The deck was removed to get rid of the problematic diagonal. Fish totes were redrawn as larger shapes. The foreground was updated with more details and a few lines to make it interesting.

The painting is getting better than a few days ago but I thought it still needed a strong line somewhere. I found a¬†solution from a¬†Stuart Davis‚Äôs work “The Blue Cafe“. ¬†It has a few lines and a musical note on the sky. It was a floating shape but without it, the sky would have been void. I took the inspiration from this musical note and created 2 short dark horizontal wires with different heights below the top wire. ¬†I was happy with this ending.

Lobster Co-op and Oil Tanks


It was a foggy morning; the fog keeps on lifting for a short period only to return again.  I sat on the rocks close to the Ferry building looking across the water towards a red building and a few oil tanks. I have painted this view in 2009.  However, it looks different with the newly finished red building.


With the fog rolling in and out and silver gray oil tanks against the gray sky, this was not visually interesting. I decided to change the oil tanks to a dark green color.  This changed the tank shape to be a large dense block, therefore a horizontal line opening was needed to keep the space breathing.  A cooler toned staircase was also added to divide the large tank shape.

Few Summer Days in Stonington

It felt wonderful to be back in Stonington this summer, even though the painting trip lasted only three days.  Mystical fog and some rain kept the first day  interesting for photography and for painting.  I painted from looking out the window.  Every few minutes the fog would lift, my view kept on changing.

The second day I went back to my favorite ledge and focused on the dock.  Recent architectural paintings have lead the structure of this work to be more geometric.  Green trees and lawn became shapes.  Rocks, however retained its natural shapes to play off with surrounding geometric structures.   It ended up to be one of my favorite painting from Maine this year.

The third day I wanted to do a painting of the houses in town.  I started out with drawing and composing each house carefully.  The painting was not complete and it needed a lot more editing.  I would have to go back some time later this year to finish it.