Neighbor House

oil painting
Neighbor House, oil on canvas 28 in. x 22 in., December 2017

I like looking at pretty, old Victorian or other traditional-style houses. And so I went walking around my neighborhood snapping pictures of people’s homes. I find myself veering off from realistic colors these days, and instead, choosing color palettes that suit my mood and the overall feel that I want.

For this painting, I wanted a wintry, sort of washed-out pastel look for the house. But for the shadow of the tree and houses on the opposite side of the street, I wanted warmth. The fall/winter sunlight on this house appeared sharp and icy, but through the trees it looked warm and organic. I drew a contrast between the house and the shadows on the ground with color tone, but united these two components of the painting through blurred, fuzzy brush strokes. In contrast to my last painting (Glassware Still-Life), I wanted the edges of color less defined and the brush strokes more visible.

I was vaguely thinking of Edward Hopper’s paintings of Cape Cod and Maine houses. I also had Impressionism on my mind, and the use of many bright, pastel colors and purposeful brush strokes. I am pleased with the sense of movement in this painting. After all, light does not remain static, but rather changes position from one hour to the next. This painting was quick, and I relied on my instincts to choose colors, mix, and place them. I will continue my exploration of color and light.

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