As I walk at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park I see the first signs of spring. The grays and browns are now accented by a froth of light green rolling over the landscape. The bushes are leafing out and lighting up the undergrowth with a gentle color and a clean fragrance. The skies are bluer and the breezes invigorate. As you may remember I tried a small color field painting using the winter colors I saw on my walks (here). I painted with my new acrylics and didn’t like the look of the canvas underneath. That painting was very small and I learned a lot about acrylics as I worked on it. I decided to create a new Ft Ben color field painting using burnt sienna to represent the leaf covered earth, a mix of light greens to represent the budding bushes, winter white to represent the sky and burnt umber to represent the trees. I started out by thinking about three blocks of color and a blue background. Then I decided to split the large upper block into three with white spaces between to represent the large, white sycamore trees that grow throughout the park. That was my starting point as I worked on this painting.
The most important decision I made was to choose Strathmore Aquarius II paper as my surface. I soaked the paper until it was wet all the way through and then painted with my acrylics on very wet paper. I wanted blurry edges (the acrylics did run a little) and a soft look to the surface. My painting is 11 inches by 15 inches and, as you can see I further developed the idea of trees as I saw the painting develop. I’m finding ways to love the Indiana winter!