Rest Break

We stopped by the side of the road on the island of Funen in Denmark, so I could take photos and sketch a bit. I turned to come back to the car and noticed my husband solving his NYT crossword on his phone. I liked the whole scene, did a rapid line sketch, and finished it up today with gouache.

Posted in Telling a Story | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sunset on Samsø Island

We visited Denmark’s Samsø Island for a few days of biking and hiking. On our last evening, we climbed Ballebbjerg Hill, the highest point on Samsø at 209 feet (64 meters). It was a great place to watch the sunset and do a little sketching.

Posted in Landscape, Telling a Story | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A Thirty-Seven Year Old Idea

Two old scholars, working together on an idea that has eluded them for thirty-seven years, notice it is a delightful day and decide not to waste a moment of it. They take their notes and computers outside, sit along the garden wall, and keep working, allowing the idea to be warmed over by the spring sun.

Posted in Telling a Story, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Danish Fields of Yellow

I started a second sketch at Nivå yesterday, from the same spot as the one of the jogger, but looking 90 degrees to my right. I like it because the immense field of yellow extends across the full page, practically filling it with its yellow color.

Posted in Landscape | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jogging along a Danish Byway

I was tempted to call this ‘Jogging along the Blue Roads of Denmark’ since blue roads read like water, and the title would alert the viewer that these blue areas are roads, not rivers. But this sketch is more about moving through the serenity of the Danish landscape than the color of the streets and paths.

The yellow fields are a vegetable oil crop beginning to bloom in the farm areas. There are places where the fields dominate the landscape, and I am certain these plants will show up in more of my sketches soon.

Posted in Landscape, Plein Air, Telling a Story | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Redo of Homework under a Tree

Yesterday evening I posted a sketch, ‘Homework under a Tree,’ a painting with a message about friendships, youth, and spring. This morning, I looked at it again and saw that I got way too much of it wrong. I wanted a sketch about spring, and yesterday’s post looked like the end of summer or autumn. Although I hardly ever make significant changes to paintings after I post them, I had to rework ‘Homework under a Tree.’

What was wrong with the original? First of all, I photographed the original in the evening under artificial light, giving an orange tint to the image. The lovely blues and greens of my sketch were dulled out. But retaking the photo outside, while necessary, would not be sufficient because the colors I used initially were the colors of late summer or autumn. Instead of composing my painting with colors to support my message, I had simply copied what was in front of me, including a bank of old straw reeds that had not yet grown its new spring greenery. I should have made choices that supported my message better.

I think this updated version of ‘Homework under a Tree’ with the reworked foliage, new blouses, and more defined figures conveys a stronger story.

Posted in Telling a Story, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Homework under a Tree

I can’t be sure that the project these three were working on so seriously was their homework, but whatever it was, it had their full attention. I wonder, in 50 years, will these three girls look back and remember a spring day in Denmark when their friendship and a mutual project made the time fly for them.

Posted in Plein Air, Telling a Story | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments