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Works in Progress

September 19, 2011

I’m trying to limit my computer time, along with my painting time, in order to let this shoulder issue work itself out.  I’m not being very successful with any of that, I’m afraid.  I may have to go back to sitting on the couch, watching TV, and reading.  Meanwhile, in addition to a couple of new pieces almost finished (I think), I’ve been revisiting some work that’s been sitting for awhile.  I rarely go back and rework a painting.  But the last few days, I’ve been spending a little time here and there on this painting and that painting.  It’s actually turning out to be an interesting exercise.

First the new ones…

Untitled, 20x30, Gouache

Untitled, 16x20, Gouache

One of my first attempts at a gouache painting this size was an old house, sitting on a windswept hill.  The composition, and the color palette, was very similar to this painting.  I’ve been wanting to address that look and feel again, and am attempting it with this old barn.

Down By the Cornfield, 11x14, Gouache

This is a narrow road running through Malabar Farm, near Mount Vernon, Ohio.  For a small painting of such a simple subject, it has proven to be a challenge for me.  Not sure why.

Untitled, 11x14, Gouache

I started this one a few weeks ago.  I reached a certain point, then leaned it against the wall for awhile.  I’m reaching for an overcast, moody atmosphere here, and I’m also trying to decide just how much detail to put into the foreground weeds and grasses.  I’m also concerned about all the horizontal stripes on the right side of the painting.  This one may not fly, but we’ll see.

Road to the Back Forty, 16x20, Gouache

I’m not sure how long ago I did this painting.  It may have been a couple of years ago.  I guess I thought it was finished, because I had signed it.  But then I put it away.  It’s a scene from an old abandoned farm not far from where we live.  I pulled it out over the weekend and realized it just didn’t have that strong value contrast I’m used to.  So I’ve started retouching it.  I think it has a nice little nostalgic feel to it.

And now that I’ve been typing, my arm is starting to nag at me, so I’ll stop.  Just thought I’d share what I’ve been up to while trying not to do much.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2011 5:30 pm

    I like them all Ralph. My favourites are the first third and fifth. Sorry to hear about your Arm.
    All the best.

  2. September 19, 2011 10:22 pm

    Hi Ralph,

    I have had a sore arm/shoulder since mid June and it comes and goes but sure does cramp my style and the pain takes away my desire to paint at all – I just hope you will overcome the malady. I have tried some rubs, taking a regular course of Advil (ibuprohene) and therapy. It is better but not great and all I can tell you is that it is best when I continue to use the arm in moderation but not by letting it atrophy from non use.
    Best of luck and I loved these paintings, especially the first one.

    Pam Stephens

  3. September 19, 2011 10:29 pm

    You make it look so easy! I watch for your emails daily….really like your work. Take care of the arm.

  4. September 20, 2011 10:13 pm

    Wow, Ralph… that first one is stunning! I love the vibrant colors! Question for you – did you have to use what felt like a ton of paint to do these big ones? And did you have any problems keeping the paint wet while you worked on big areas?

    • October 5, 2011 12:21 pm

      Vic, Pam, Ed… thanks so much for your comments. Meg… it does feel like your using a ton of paint. and the paint does NOT stay wet. The biggest problem is keeping color mixes from changing. I can’t seem to mix enough paint at one time, so it’s a constant struggle to match colors. Thanks!

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