Scene through fresh eyes
#219922 Summer Morning Along Poole Creek 30x36, repainted.
Back in the summer of 2019, before COVID 19, I painted Summer Morning Along Poole Creek from a 11x14 plein-air sketch. The painting captured the day very well, in my assessment, but I always felt that it was dark: faithfully recording the silhouetted trees and shadows and the closed in feeling of the stream and surroundings.
This spring we were blessed with a surprisingly quick recovery from the cold dark days of winter as the snow disappeared and green buds arrived practically over night. I walked the trail daily, revelling in warm weather, watching as the trees and undergrowth changed and the creek receded. I took photographs and made sketches to record the welcome transformations.
When I had the time, following the successful 10-Collective art show at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, I took out Summer Morning Along Poole Creek, removed the 30x36 canvas from its picture frame and set it up on my easel.
I studied it with fresh eyes. I asked myself, “could I repaint it using the pent up synergy of this spring?” The risk: that there's no going back.
At first I started in tentatively, trying small strokes of green in varying shades of higher values. Then left it on the studio easel for a week or so. Finally, when I felt the excitement of anticipation building, I squeezed out a full palette of Golden acrylic colours. Using Golden Glazing medium and large brushes, I began work in earnest until the canvas was transformed, all the while constantly walking back and forth from my easel to assess the overall effect.
Adjustments followed with several trips to Poole Creek at different times in the day to observe shadows, reflections and new greens. When I put down by brushes a further two weeks later, I felt satisfied that I had lifted the painting to a new high. You see, as I often explain to others, I believe that painting is about technique – for sure, but it is also about listening to yourself and expressing those thoughts in an artistic, meaningful way.
And never stop trying to do better. . . .
The Art of Charles Spratt