Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Look Back at Summer ( watercolor painting)

Last week, beginning a watercolor commission, I found myself preparing an autumn palette. 
With the light changing and the leaves turning, I thought I might look back and post one last Lake Champlain painting from the amazing, almost-endless summer of 2015.  

                                From Oakledge, August.
                                Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, 2015.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Painting Journal, Summer's End.

Summer’s hold has been strong this year in Vermont—and it has made for a long and satisfying season of lakeside watercolor painting. It seems that there has been so much light and color to explore, with endless surprises and variations.
Here I will a share a day’s work of paintings from late August.
 As usual, I began at the Burlington Waterfront, with boats and reflections ( and a very large iced coffee.) The water was ruffled by wind, and the strong morning sun made bright fields of reflected color. It was a bit of a struggle to keep things from blowing away, making for a very physical, almost athletic, session of painting.

I packed up my very portable painting gear ( see the photo at the bottom of the page) and ran for a while along the shore, stopping to paint at the urban beach south of Perkins Pier. The wind quieted, and thin high clouds veiled and filtered the sun now. I found myself re-wetting and reworking quite a bit to capture the strange flat light. The end result seems to me to have the look of a work in pastels and gouache.

After more running, I settled in and set up on the rocks at Oakledge Park. I met another painter there, and we had an inspiring conversation. Later, after swimming, and sunning on the rocks, I made a few paintings of the long view, toward Shelburne Point and beyond to the Adirondack Mountains. The afternoon light here is ever-changing and full of energy—I never grow tired of painting this view.

In the late afternoon the light simply suffuses the harbor and marinas, washing out colors and creating high contrasts. I made a very quick monochromatic sketch of a boat inside the breakwater, before I had to run again and catch a bus home. 
The summer light will stay with me, inside me, I am quite sure.   -KMB

All paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and gouache on paper, 2015.