Monday, March 03, 2008

The Old Bunkhouse


This will take you over to eBay
This afternoon I discovered a wonderful ranch that was established in 1854 just outside the town of Edgewood at the foot of Mount Shasta. Jackson Ranch is a 2000-acre ranch that a prospector homesteaded after making a fortune gold mining in Yreka. As I began painting, an old man came out of the forest with a rifle flung over his right shoulder. He had a kind and welcoming smile. He noticed that I was painting and wandered over to see what I was doing. He told me that the structure I was painting was the old bunkhouse that his great-great grandfather built it in 1856.

The great thing about painting on location is that it is not like jumping out of a car and snapping a photo. Painting invites conversation. People stop to talk with you, and have nothing but praises to say about what you are doing. Most people admire the fact that you have the ability and interest to do what you are doing, and wish that they could do it, too. It is very intriguing to see a painter in a field with an easel and umbrella, and the old hunter’s curiosity led him to approach me when he saw me painting “The Old Bunkhouse.”

Often I paint what I see as an exercise in capturing the mood of a place in the moment. Today the light was defused by clouds and offered little highlight, but the soft light intensified the feeling of history as I painted the old structure. The mood of a painting conveys the artist’s emotional response to the place, object, or person that is being painted. Mood is the prime differentiating quality between a painting done on location and one painted from a photo in the studio. The more you sketch on location, the more you store feelings and observations to use in future expressions on canvas. Great paintings are mostly studio paintings that originated from a personal experience, recalled later in the studio, and expressed through the artist’s brush from memory.

I hope that we can build a community of artists that can share information with each other.
If you know of any artists that might appreciate being included, let them know about this blog.

I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues.

If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime. I welcome your feedback. Stefan_Baumann@yahoo.com

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