Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stand Alone - A tree line by North Carolina painter, Sue Scoggins

It's another snow day in Raleigh, NC and a date with my easel!  For several weeks now, I've been preparing for a solo show at Tidewater Gallery at the coast. Images keep swirling in my head but few have landed on canvas.  It's challenging to nail myself down to one style or subject. Guess that's the "color in between the lines" sort of thing.....I can't!

While in France last year, I sketched several tree lines. Those rows of green things  (we're not suppose to call them trees, we're suppose to call them shapes) became compelling.

So, last night, behind my eyelids, I was envisioning this one white tree from one of my sketches. This little guy has been ruminating in my brain since last July.  How about a traditional?  An experiment in studying the classics.

The underpainting actually began the night before with a rough sketch on linen canvas,  using a paper towel instead of a brush.  Used just cad red and alizarin crimson thinned with turp.  Swiped on.  Wiped off.  Dried over night.

Up and ready, this morning, I turned on Yo-Yo Ma playing Ennio Morricone...Moses and Marco Polo Suite.  The music and the colors engulfed me and before I knew it 6 hours and two boxes of raisins  had gone by. 

I began by darkening my darks and trying to get a bit more definition.  Scrubbed on.  Scraped off.

I determined which area was my lightest.  Which was my brightest.  Which was my darkest. I began with a large brush.  But, when I laid down my long line of purple in front of the trees, I just picked up my pallet knife and couldn't put it down.  Seriously!  It was stuck to my hand and I couldn't let go.  It began to scribble and move color all over the canvas....sort of like a ouiji on steroids! 

Stand Alone
20x24 oil on linen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My First City Scape - by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

Call me crazy.  We had a "winter storm" in North Carolina last night...which amounted to a beautiful dusting of snow and frigid temperatures....So...What does a painter do on a cold wintery day?  Take a guess.

Hmm.  Could be celebrating Fat Tuesday. Could be playing in the snow with my grandchildren (if I wanted to try driving on ice.  NOT)...Could be making chili (but cooking is way overrated when you live alone).....or possibly sitting in my warm comfy living room reading  a book..(but that would put me to sleep)... NO!

I'm painting.

This morning, as the sun was rising, this was the view out my window.
  Of course, this image was just the beginning and it became stuck in my head.  That's what happens to painters, ya know.   Pacing back and forth in front of the 9 foot wall of windows I could see, through the overcast sky, the city of Raleigh beginning to take on color.

So, I chose to take a huge painting, 3ft by 5 ft, ...previously painted...and completely distroy it!..Distroy it and create something new!

I tried to create a sophisticated monochromatic city scape...but couldn't!  The color from the underpainting created depth as I laid pinks and Indian yellow in the sky. Can't help but be addicted to color. It's just who I am and I can't help it.  I was born this way!  Once on a roll, I had to scoot my easel around the room to get all the buildings and avoid any direct sunlight coming in the windows. Can't you just envision it?  A "rolling" painting.  Glad the floor wasn't down hill.  Whee!!!  Kind of funny. The paint was laid on, then scraped off.  Adjustments were continually made as the city took shape. The painting took a total of 8-10 hours...on my feet....non stop.  No break (accept the potty).  I was in the zone.  No phone calls....only two text concentration.  (Not to mention the distroyed hours of the previous underpainting...that took hours upon hours....only be painted over) first city scape.  Still a few touch ups left to do...but pretty much completed.

The Light's On
36-48 oil (upon oil upon oil)

Hope you like it!