I have a warm spot in my heart for Muddy Hole Creek.  On my way ….. I stopped at Ellis Bay.

Ellis Bay, Maryland

I’m painting larger this time around.  I brought a view old (very old) canvases and primed the back with two coats of gesso.  I find it difficult to paint on small 5″ x 5″ panels.  Ellis Bay is about 18″ x 36″.   At about 1:30 I packed up and headed to my favorite spot at Muddy Hole Creek.

Muddy Hole Creek, en plein air oil painting

The Muddy Hole Creek painting is about 24″ x 30″.  I absolutely love the marshes!

The variations of greens in the landscape is both fantastic and challenging.

Muddy Hole Road, en plein air landscape oil painting, 6″ x 12″

The day was overcast, the light beautiful yet flat.  The challenge was to create the illusion of space within areas of similar hue (green) and similar value (mid-value range).  I premixed about eight piles of greens on my palette, variations of warm and cool greens of slightly different values.  With these piles to easily dip into, I responded more intuitively to the landscape in front of me, not having to stop to refocus on mixing paint.  I easily varied the mixes by adding a bit from other piles without being concerned that the new mix might not be harmonious. I could focus on what, for me, is a bigger challenge …… painting the tops of trees where the light flickers through between the tips of branches and leaves  revealing bits and pieces of the sky.  It is so easy to get overly fussy and create stiff-looking trees.  I was pleased that I retained the airy feeling of the trees in this little painting, as well as the cool green grassiness of the phragmites leaves in the foreground.

painting: plein air landscape, oil painting, 6″ x 12″ canvas, painted over a terra rosa underpainting wash.