RAL Art Center has a show coming up focused on the lives and environment of the Watermen. I literally started this painting last year based on a photo I took of a couple of crabbers putting out pots on Betts Mill Creek.
Unless you have been boating or live on one of these creeks, you may not realize that it feels a lot like walking up a street in Chicago or New York. The trees, like buildings, rise up high on either side of you in a strip of water no wider than a city street. The only sky you see is directly overhead. It is a weird sort of claustrophobic feeling, almost.
My first go at this painting was extremely blue. Too blue. Too shiny. Too fake. I lost track of the trees. I lost track of the direction I was trying to go. Now, a year later, I feel like I have a better handle on controlling my brushes and controlling the intensity in the paints. I think I have a better handle on interpreting what I see and a better handle on controlling the brushes.
There may be a bit more tweeking to do, but here is where I’m at as of this afternoon and I will have a painting to enter in the RAL Art Center Show.
Here it is before I put it back on the easel to work this morning. This is in June 2017.
Now, I recognize this is just an underpainting. Much, much happier with the current rendition. Here is a close up of my waterman in the boat and the reference photo.
Yep, much happier now. You can tell it is Spring and you can understand what is happening (if you know anything about watermen):