Painting in Marblehead, MA

While visiting my brother in Marblehead, MA for a week, I had a chance to do a couple plein air paintings.

Side note about the trip up there: Arriving early to a delayed flight out of Austin, I did a couple sketches of people looking at the window or focused on their laptops. Then, as I was about to board the plane I noticed “Minneapolis”, which is fine except when its supposed to say Michigan. Randomly walking to the nearest kiosk, I admitted the computer made a mistake (sarcasm) to the guy behind the counter. He started typing really fast on the keyboard and said, “follow me to the plane”. So I did and everyone, even the pilots were waiting on me. I found out I was going to Atlanta mid-flight and it was smooth flying from there. Mostly. I was lacking something to sketch at Atlanta while waiting to go to Boston, so I sketched my hiking boot.  A magazine-model-gorgeous woman in leotards sat right in front of me. Every time I glanced at my boot, it looked like I was staring at her legs. Awkward, but I was too far along to not finish. Admittedly, they were amazing legs. Thanks boot.

Airport sketches to pass the time

Okay, back to painting: I walked around the town of Marblehead to take some reference photos with the new used Canon S95. The trees were all the fall colors and the wooden New England style historic houses looked like instant paintings. This is a scene of the rocky shore just down the road from the house. It was about 4:00pm, 30 minutes before the sun set, so it lit up the home with a magnificent bright yellow light.

“Jersey Beach” view at 4:30pm

With a quick under-painting noting colors, I finished back at the house. The Canon S95 did great with color accuracy!

8×10″ Acrylic on canvas panel. I may tweak a few things like add a sailboat in the distance, a dingy below the house and get some thick, juicy paint to add text to the foreground.

Today I went to “Seaside Park” and followed a trail to a rocky shoreline. In view was an island with million dollar homes along the shore and the lighthouse in the distance. Normally there’s so many boats attached to bouys it looks like a parking lot, but everyone took out the boats due to Tropical Storm Sandy.

Harbor View from Seaside Park (usually filled with boats)
9×12″ Acrylic on canvas panel. I plan to work on the foreground adding thick paint to the rock and grasses.

I added a few boats and have most of the foreground set.  Just a few more tweaks and this will be done. Lately I’m really been loving the thick paint (impasto) to grab some punch to areas of highlight.


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