Sta­tion Points

International Artist - - Contents -

Tips & In­sights from James Gur­ney Trip to Maine

James Gur­ney heads north with his gouache sketch­book

Maine coast sings a siren song to the on-the-spot painter. Artists have loved this re­gion for cen­turies, such as Fred­eric Church, Winslow Homer and An­drew Wyeth. I ar­rive in mid-septem­ber, a rel­a­tively quiet time af­ter the sum­mer flocks of tourists have flown, but be­fore the ar­rival of the leaf-peep­ers. I bring water­color and gouache with a tri­pod-mounted sketch easel, ex­pect­ing that I might be paint­ing in town or even in­doors, and might need a com­pact setup. Car­pen­ter’s Boat Shop, water­color, 5 x 8" (13 x 20 cm) This old wooden skiff started out on Cran­berry Is­land. Now it’s ma­rooned in front of the the Car­pen­ter’s Boat Shop, a work­shop where ap­pren­tices work with mas­ter boat builders to learn time-hon­ored skills. I use trans­par­ent water­color, which re­quires me to paint around the thin white shapes catch­ing sun­light on the gun­wales. To make sure

I get those right, I spend some time do­ing a care­ful pen­cil draw­ing first. When it comes to paint­ing, I ig­nore the green and yel­low col­ors in the ac­tual scene and limit the col­ors to dull browns and blues. That al­lows me to em­pha­size the con­trast be­tween the warmth of the down­fac­ing planes and the cool­ness of the planes fac­ing up­ward.

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