Friday, October 19, 2012

PAFA MFA 1: Weeks 7 and 8

We have hit the mid-point for my first semester MFA1 and it also happens to be my birthday today. Will I get a day off? No, so today, the day before was my birthday present to myself to go out painting.

Many people look at birthdays as a time of renewal and reflection, and I suppose that's true for me, especially this year as there are many goals to reach and bridges to paint. I have been back out to paint after a long spell without any plein air painting and boy have I issed it! Since were all so inspired from our trip to see Andrew Wyeth's studio the DPC decided to hit the Brandywine to paint twice in the last week. I can't tell you all how great it makes me feel to get back out to painting in Plein Air! It is also just about the best place to paint on teh shores of the Brandywine near the Wyeth Museum. I can certainly see why the Wyeth's loved this area so much.

The first trip a, week ago  now, the DPC crew rolled out to paint on the museum grounds and the nature trails that run along the Brandywine River. It's been really a tradition for the group to go out there in the fall to paint for the last several years and it was actually our first spot to go painting as a group.

As usual we had a pretty continuous parade of museum visitor passing by and commenting on our work and watching us paint.
Alina and Will drew a steady crowd as they were closer to the museum.

 If I had a dime for every time somebody commented "You must be Andrew's grandson" I could retire---or maybe buy a Wyeth painting! I had not been out painting since July--so I was anxcious to get out and get going. I picked a spot and plotted the angle of the sun, planning ahead to be firing in and finishing the painting during the "golden hour" or when the sun was setting and trickling everything with its golden color.
Alina and Will painting away.

Lexi painting with some kind of wedge she bought at AC Moore.

Lexi's final painting. I want to get one of those wedges!

Will's final painting which I think turned out great!

Here is my setup.

And the final painting which took about 3 hours or so.

 Once I was done I took a break and watched the gang paint and snapped a few pics, but since there was still some light left I decided to try and pump uot one more small painting of the train bridge before teh sun really went down---I had maybe about 45 minutes to try and get this little one done. It's not great, but it was fun to do.

Today Will Sentman and I both went back to paint at the Brandywine for the second time in a week.
I arrived early and decided to walk around and explore and ended up finding this whole nature walk I never knew about even though I have been going to the Wyeth Museum for 25 years. When Will arrived he and I picked a really majestic spot and went at it painting until disasters struck. I knew the tide would rise but not as much as it did, and it happened really quick--I kept at painting until I was forced literally up against the driftwood and had to stretch out over the water to the easel---that's when it was time to call it  a day!

And to top that off the sun was lost as the clouds rolled in....and my feet got soaked as I had to wade my way back trough as our access path had been cut off from the tide rising. The next purchase will be a set of waders! Nothing like driving home with wet shoes!


So I got back, dried my pants and I'm hoping my shoes dry by tomorrow, but I busted out the gear and set about to finish up the painting while the iron was hot as they say. I had to finish this painting up from several photos. That's OK, I had a strong block-in which really had the structure and the values pretty set in, so tickling it up at home was a lot of fun and pretty easy.  The painting is 16 x 20 in Oil.

Now I have to turn my tasks to writing another paper for my Writing a Research Seminar and another homework assignment for my Drawing Seminar.

This drawing above was for this week's Drawing Seminar's homework, which was to combine two drawings into one. So I took two recent drawings from up in Philly and put them together. I had to crank this out after finishing my week of Judge Parker dailies, so I started this about 2am and was done by 3:30--then a few hours sleep and off to class and to teach until 10 pm.  Tuesday is my LOOOOONG day! This drawings was pretty straight forward since I do this type of thing doing animation Background designs or stuff for comics. Next week it's a bad drawing and something half-abstract...

I know from this week forward time will quicken with the holidays coming, so I really want to get back out to paint before the colors completely change and go, so I figure that gives me about a week or so depending on the weather.


William R. Moore said...

Happy Birthday.

I would say that you and DPC had a very good outing and that you were attracted to driftwood. DPC was a good idea that continues to have benefits.

Citizeness Journalist said...

Happy Birthday Mike!


Nancy Bea Miller said...

What fun, and I wish I was able to join in with you guys! But I love seeing the photos. A lot of dedicated plein air painters keep a complete change of clothing (including an old pair of shoes) and a towel in a bag in the back of their car. You do have to remember to replenish the bag after use, but that's not too hard. Easier than putting on waders! ;-)

Michael Manley said...

Haha, true Nancy, but I think waders are also a plus o get certain places. Anyway we keep on going out so when you are back in form you can join us!

Michael Manley said...

Thanks Caroline!

Michael Manley said...

William, yes, there was a lot of cool trees and driftwood all over!