Land-escapes. The discovery of light. Or You're never too old...

I have never been a big landscape guy. I love landscapes. They've just always seemed so complicated. All those damn trees. How do you paint those damn trees. Recently a friend of mine convinced me to join her in a workshop with landscape artist Peter Fiore. It was an renewing experience. There was a lot of information passed around. Much extremely useful. But non more than the statement 'You are painting the light.' I have heard this many times since art school. Many of the my photographers friends talked about it. Painters  told me that they owned their success to the moment that they discovered light. I accepted all of this as gospel and continued with my humorous illustration. Line and wash drawings where tone and value were at play but not necessarily light.

For years my painting were representations of accidental light. Random. Good luck. Bad luck. My encounters with light were totally accidental without the understanding that I was in control of my light. Not in the sense that I could move the sun about in the sky. But I could be in the right place at the right time by design.  

At the same time I was preparing for Peters workshop there were a couple of news bits floating around about apps to help photographers 'chase the light'. One is an add on to an APP called The Photographers Ephemeris  or TPE. Which offers as an optional 'add in' called Skyfire. These tools are supposed to help with finding light events related to sunrise, sunset, weather conditions and track the path of the sun. After the workshop I bought the TPE app and SkyFire add in. Heres some resulting work based of chase light based on information vs luck.

Completed study

Work in progress    Locust Lawns 22 x 8 oil on Raphael Linen 

This was in the morning, not dawn but early light. I was bight enough to casta shadow but defuse. A very hilly river valley.

My Font Yard  14 x 7 oil on canvas

This is the first successful attempt at achieving light. When I say successful I mean that I understand the value structure. I may not have expressed it right but now I'm understanding it.

Study oil on paper

Needless to say that this 'new' awareness is helping with other challenging lighting situations.

Looking to the Catskill  Photograph 

Another result of chasing light with previous warning