Tag Archives: Paul Kratter

Long Road to an Empty Field



This painting took me weeks. I went back to the same spot four, maybe five times, building it slowly, though would have very much liked to finish it in one go. Somehow, it just didn’t come together. It do like it now. It was a struggle to show the field in the foreground, with nothing growing, but somehow interesting. I want to show agriculture in my paintings, in a way that is real. To show the beauty of a just tilled field, or the different stages a field on a farm like this. More paintings are certainly coming, with that focus.

Last weekend I took a Plein Air Workshop with a great plein air painter named Paul Kratter. He was fabulous, fun and accomplished. His quick demos took our collective breath away. I so hoped I could learn how to accomplish this level of finish, quicker. Being that this was the first time I have taken a plein air workshop, my expectations may have been a tad over-the-top. I got a tremendous amount of information from the experience, held in a sweet spot in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. I’m still processing, and I believe I know how to paint faster now. Adjustments in my materials may be what turns the tide. That will take some experimentation. Plus, the “rule” “Is it lighter or darker, warmer or cooler”. And a bit more freedom happened when Paul was demonstrating and using white. I had always reserved its use until the very end, choosing to lighten colors with yellow whenever possible. Allowing white into the picture, even at the initial block-in stage, really opened my eyes.

More to come.