Monday, June 13, 2011

The Neighboring Field

Yesterday, Sunday, I had a rare block of time all to myself. Anna and Ronia were off on a mission near DC and the three older girls were at a tea party. So I did something I hadn’t done in a long time: I threw my paints into my old leather bag, grabbed my pallet and my easel and headed outside.

Every time I paint, and it’s not nearly as often as it should be, I find myself with two competing thoughts- “I love this” and “I wish I were better at this.”

I am still very much a beginner in painting and it can be very frustrating. There’s a quote attributed to Degas that has always stuck with me: “Painting is not very difficult when you don’t know how- but when you know, ah! then, it is a different matter.” Big D knows the score I think.

Sometimes things go well. Yesterday, after finding a suitably humble location (standing nearly on top of my neighbor’s septic tank), getting everything set up and the easel level I had a little over an hour for painting. It was just enough time to make a small sketch of the neighboring field on a little wood panel I’d been saving. I had fun! And I was not unhappy with the result. It was a good Sunday Afternoon.


Margaret E. Perry said...

i love it! Sheep!!!

Margaret E. Perry said...

or are they hay bales?

Ben Hatke said...

Ha! No they are hay bales.

Laura said...

I think there is at least one sheep hiding behind one of the hay bales. This reminds me of the Antoine de Saint-Exupery, with the 'hat' vs. the boa constrictor having swallowed the elephant.

Mary said...

I have always regretted that I have never painted outside on location before. I will have to get into the habit- I have a feeling that nothing can replace it. This is lovely!

SAC said...

So beautiful!

Ben Hatke said...

Mary, painting outside is definitely it's own beast of an experience. For me the hardest thing is just packing up, going outside, finding a spot and STARTING. I eel like half the time I fuss and fumble about and then end up reading a book instead.

But I'm hoping to go out again this Sunday...

ladyhobbit said...

I really like this painting! The comments about sheep and hay bales remind me of something my mom said over 30 years ago. She and my dad were visiting us newlyweds, and on the trip she said she saw buffalo--but they were really just giant hay bales! I think she felt herself to be really, really far west, way out in the state of Indiana! (PS: I am Elizabeth Butina's mom.) BTW, I bought and loved Zita the Spacegirl!

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Five Stars! you really captured the colors. And you got a good photo/scan of the painting!!!

Ben Hatke said...

Ha ha, thanks, Anthony! I can't remember a single time I've been really happy with a photo of a painting. Except for a picture I took of a very large piece in the national gallery. The one above needs color correction.

I notice you always have good photos of your paintings ---how do you do it?

Fr Matthew Green said...

Nice painting! Very peaceful.

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