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Roxbury, NY

A week ago, my wife and I went upstate to the Catskills for Independence Day.  Being away from the city is a necessary ritual I have every few months, whether it be the Berkshires to see my family or going to Fleischmanns, NY for a long weekend, it is an easy way to control my sanity living in one of the largest cities in the world with a constant onslaught of crowds.  I need silence, mountains, trees, farm animals, and the occasional bear threat.  The Catskills are the perfect getaway.  Though, because it is never for that long, I rarely have the chance to draw and almost never paint.  This time I got an entire week off from work, so we got an extended vacation up there, and I finally got to do a painting en plein-aire.
Roxbury, NY, 11.5" x 9.5", Oil on Masonite, 2013
 I found a spot, with the help of my wife's knowledge of the area's vistas, on the side of a road, near a nice old barn, in Roxbury.  The first day was very overcast, and whats nice of having a mountain view is that you can see the passing rainstorms coming, so you can prepare the umbrella.  That happened maybe four times in the 4-5 hour session.  In that first day, I laid in the background and sky and a rough outline of the foreground.  I used yellow ochre, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, sap green, burnt sienna, and titanium white.  Liquin to make sure it would be dry by the next day.  The next day was a bit more sunny, but still very cloudy and I painted all the foreground.  That was another 4 hour session, and that was that.
It was so refreshing to paint from life.  I have been painting pretty much strictly from photo reference for the past year.  This was a great change of pace.  I hope to do this again the next time I'm in the Catskills, maybe an autumn painting.  I have found many future painting spots.


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