Tuesday, July 11, 2017

View out the Manure Door

The barn is a bank barn, built into a sloping hillside. The upper floor is accessible at ground level to horses and wagons on the east side. You enter the bottom level on the downhill side. 

If you sit on the main floor and face west, you look out past the duckling pen and the brooding box to a balcony over the manure pile.

In the afternoon the light streams in. That's where Handsome, the barn cat, likes to sit.

It was that simple value arrangement that attracted me. The light shape consists of the open door and the polygon of light on the floor. There's a railing at the lower left sticking out into the light, and the light just catches some of the brooms and the edge of the brooding box. (Link to video)


Daroo said...

Great little painting -- reminiscent of the iconic John Ford doorway shot in the "Searchers".
But when the film camera exposes for the scene either the interior goes dark or the exterior is blown out (more like your Notan). I'm guessing You made the choice to compress the value relationships and bring the exterior values down towards the middle (to get more color?) and possibly lighten the interior of the barn to be able to see all the interesting farm tools.

The notan you posted suggested that there were a lot of ways to handle the scene in terms of value. So as a quickie experiment I did a quick screen shot, opened in PS, copied as a layer, Turned it to gray scale. Then I copied another color layer but turned it to black and white via the Black and white adjuster where you can increase lightness and darkness based on the original color.

Thanks for posting.

Glenn Tait said...

Love the paining, I've worked around horses in the past and you captured the atmosphere and setting perfectly. Brought back many memories and smells, love the the smell of a the barn yard. I'd seen many barns with this configuration in Canada but didn't know "bank barn" was the specific identifier.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post. It reminded of a tobacco barn I played in when I was a kid in Ownsboro, Kentucky.

Seven said...

Your plein air work is so amazing, but I see you using a sketch book? I'm wondering what happens to the paintings, if they go on to be framed, find loving homes, go joyfully to shows etc. Worried they might be hanging out in a book shelf until the next page is turned! :-P

I'm new to the blog, sure you get this question a lot. I really like this piece, I think your work is total magic. Rock on.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Seven. Over the years I have painted plein-air paintings on separate panels, and sold some of them.
But generally I prefer to hang onto my observational sketches to use for reference in my studio work. I monetize them by creating books, videos, and apps from them, sometimes with the addition of video and audio.

That's where the images will reach the most people and live their lives most fully. Creating them in a sketchbook keeps them together and in sequence, which is valuable to me, rather than letting them scatter to the wind. Also, the sketchbook format is relaxed, and allows freer experimentation and a more personal expression that includes writing and loose drawings.