Saturday, September 11, 2010

Powers Market

The North Bennington Plein Air Competition began with a motif tour for the artists. We rode around town on a wagon pulled by draft horses.

The horses were a rare breed called American Cream, with amber eyes and pink skin.

About two dozen invited artists fanned out through the small town of North Bennington, Vermont. They set up on grassy hillsides, beside ponds, and in back streets.

Jeanette and I looked across to Powers Market, a Greek Revival building that served coffee and sandwiches, and conveniently had wi-fi and a bathroom.

My foot is on the C-stand to keep the white umbrella from blowing over (because I forgot the weight bags to hold it down). I'm using the umbrella not for rain but to cut glare and to diffuse light into the work surface.

I laid in the painting with a bristle filbert using burnt sienna oil paint. It was forecast to be cloudy, and I expected to be working with a lot of gray tonalities, so I wanted those warm colors to peek through in a few places in the finished painting. After stage 2, I drove into Bennington to buy the tube of white, which was missing from my kit yesterday.

That building in the back is a lawn mower repair shop, and the wood structure is leaning wildly, a fun contrast with the straight regularity of the market.

The owner of the lawn mower shop, Ron Nadeau, came over to tell us the history of his building, which used to be a blacksmith shop. He described what the town was like in his father's day, when there were working factories here that made hand mirrors, shoes, and rocking chairs.

Come today (Saturday) to the Park McCullough House in North Bennington, Vermont, for the Quick-Draw event between 1:30 and 3:30. Anyone can join, and there are over $500 in prizes. Also, there will be an exhibition of works tonight and tomorrow at the Taraden Guest House.
North Bennington Plein Air Competition
Quick-Draw Event
Wikipedia on American Cream Draft
Taraden Guest House
C-Stand on Wikipedia
Previously: White Umbrella, Traffic Cones


Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Gorgeous. Thanks for showing the intermediate steps, but I don't see an initial drawing. Are all those straight lines in the underpainting just freehand with the brush?

James Gurney said...

Yes, I just dove in with the bristle brush and burnt sienna oil on an oil primed panel. The panel was canvas glued to a Masonite board.

Anima Mascherata said...

Sounds like a blast, wish I could be there!

Daroo said...

Wow! Great painting.

Excellent values -- did you know you were going to paint the interior light when you started? Also I love the warm temp under the eaves -- excellent job.

Painting that horse team would be fun.

Claire Vrabel said...

Made me think of a Rockwell painting... ;)
Just missing the school kids running down the sidewalk...

Claire Vrabel said...

Or the older gentlman hanging out front... :)
Very nice.



Jared Shear said...

Looks like a fun competion....thanks for sharing the process sketches.

Mario said...

Did Mr. Nadeau smear the fresh paint with his finger? You look a bit worried :)

The light in the painting is impressive, it's a "more than real" cloudy day.