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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Behind the Scenes: Thoughts on my Favorite Painting of 2016

'Memories of Iceland'         5x7        plein air pastel         ©Karen Margulis
A friend asked me to share my favorite painting of 2016 and to describe why.  Great question! A couple of weeks ago I shared my 5 top paintings but didn't include this one. They all were important to me for various reasons but this little plein air painting stands out as my personal favorite.

It is a 5x7 plein air piece I did while visiting my dear friend Elinros in Iceland last June. We had a wonderful visit  immersed in art. I have some very special memories of that 10 day visit to one of my most favorite places on earth! One of those days found us on a little tour with Stan Sperlak and his son Joe. They were in Iceland getting ready for a workshop and stayed with us overnight. We went for a drive and stopped for a quick painting session.

It was a moody, windy and chilly summer day. I knew I had to work quickly and efficiently. I set up my Heilman sketchbox and tripod, took out a piece of Uart and got to work. Since I had to work so fast I was only able to put in the details that were most important. I put in some violet dirt. Added some greens and worked on the sky. I used gray violets to capture the overcast sky. I hinted at the distant buildings and finished with a swipe of light for the sand and some spice greens in the field. I think I worked for about 15 minutes before the cold and spitting wind forced me to stop.

I keep this painting in a frame near my desk. It reminds me that sometimes a few marks is all that is needed to make a statement. I'm glad I stopped before overworking this one.

Do you have a favorite from 2016? How will it influence what you do this year?


robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow! That's sometimes the best inspiration, trying to finish fast for reasons outside your control. I probably wouldn't have been up to painting at all in that kind of weather, so my hat's off to you there. This is amazing as a plein air. Very elegant and that sky is wonderful. Congratulations!

My favorite in 2016? My beautiful Sissy's formal portrait, 9" x 12" done on December 24th for her former owner. Both her unique features and her expression came through just right after years of painting Ari Cat. Painting her also helped me to get to know her better and appreciate my new muse for herself, not just as "what a lovely cat, she looks like she could be Ari's sister or daughter and loves me." She's a darling in her own right!

Agata said...

I really love this one. It is very painterly. So simple, yet so beautiful.