4 x 6 oil on canvas (SOLD)
10 September, 2009
At the bridge in the village of Bishops Mills, my first oil painting of the 30 Years Later Project.
18:30 Arriving at the bridge, the sun low in the northwest, my scene, chosen in advance of seeing, it, does not offer any strong contrasts that would help with composition, so I choose a tall thin poplar, arching high over the creek, to brace against the otherwise gentle, traditional scene. I choose yellow ochre for underpainting.
The creek is lower now than it's been all summner, though only a few stones are exposed. It used to dry down to isolated pools every summer, with crayfish huddloing in the moist, airfilled "rooms" they'd made under the large flat stones. This has been the third wet summner in a row, and the wettest of thenm all, with spriing freshet levels in mid-summer. The riffles upstream reflect the evening sky, and a thin lazy trail of bubbles winds its way toward the bridge.
There must be a barbeque at the Robinsons' new house. A b lend of laughter and happy chatter floats down the street to ne - the sane music of voices young and old that filled summer evenings of my childhood. As I paiint, the Lousleys walk their old Border Collie across the bridge heading southward. A woman who looks familiar greets nme as she walks home from the barbeque. A Kingfisher rattles and swoops low over the creek, rising steeply to my arching Poplar... a few moments later its call and dive is reflected by a second Kingfisher and the two fly off together. No sound or sign of other birds, and no frog voices either.
19:45 My light has gotten dusky. The sun has left the tree tops, and I'm painting fast, putting the dark values in the creek, and noting the sky-reflecting lily pads nearby. As I wrap up my wet brushes, the Lousleys return, sympathizing with my loss of daylight for painting. I will have to put a few finishing touches on it at home.