Today is Friday, October 9, 2009. My ambitions to finish painting the big barrel in Litchfield were squelched due to something I have absolutely no control over. Mother Nature. If she wishes to pour rain two times in one week instead of turning out warm indian summer-like days, then she’s the boss. So today was a studio day.
This is the Jones Family Farm. The big beautiful barn is the tasting room on one side and a grand entertainment hall on the other. I put both of these jpegs up to show how a painting can change from day-to-day. I felt the clouds were too boring on the picture on the top so I deepened the colors of the sky and am happier with the painting on the bottom.
I use two very important colors when painting the sky. I use both Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue. If I find ultramarine blue deep I like that one better. As far as Cerulean goes, the Cerulean blue hue is useless. I have to go ahead and get the thirty dollar tube of full strength Cerulean blue. In my opinion there is a big difference is hue saturation and pure color power.
When you go outside on a sunny day and look straight up that is the deeper blue of the sky and that is where I use the Ultramarine blue paint. As you make your way down towards the horizon of the sky that blueish color is now Cerulean blue. It has a little more yellow in it. The warmth and yellows of the atmosphere on and near the horizon line blend with the deep blue refraction that comes in from the main spectrum of light when it hits our atmosphere.
Thus answering part of the question, why is the sky blue? Because the spectrum of light which has infinite color in it, travels from the sun into our atmosphere where the rays refract, or bend at the color blue.
The Jones Family farm is an amazing farm and winery. I started painting there in July and it is where I began my painting series. My agent had a request from a calendar manufacturer for some vineyard paintings. “By coincidence,” I told her, ” there is a vineyard right here in the town where I live.” So I drove over to the offices one day and found the right person who gave me permission to wander the grounds and paint. I initially started with charcoal sketches. But after two visits with just a sketch pad I could not resist jumping right in and capturing the colors with my oil paints.
I have to say, walking the dirt roads down to the fields mad me feel like I was back at home in Nebraska. I grew up on an acreage with dirt roads and a meandering stream near-by. There weren’t as many trees but the site of the farm fields and the sounds of the buzz of nature in the heat of the summer were the same., just like in Nebraska. I immediately felt right at home in those fields at the Jones Farm. Every time I go there I take as many deep breaths as I can before I get dizzy because you can’t smell the glorious scents once you leave the grounds.