Early Light, Two Harbors 8×12
by Joe Paquet
Joe Paquet’s oil painting “Morning Impression, Duluth” was painted from the bluffs overlooking Duluth Minnesota at sunrise. This painting has many subtle colors including challenging soft pinks, magenta and blue. Many cameras simply won’t record these colors in such high values. It’s always a pleasure to work with such fine paintings.
Joe’s commentary on this painting:
“Harmony, Subjective Truth, Finish & Whistler.
This large field painting finished in the studio was a both a study in restraint and a nod to James McNeil Whistler. He believed a painting should be like a single breath blown onto a pane of glass.
The cold, damp morning I painted this I had one shot to find that singular, delicate harmony. The canvas needed to be covered and I was at the absolute edge of my abilities. Although I was able to get the overall harmony I still had to complete it in the studio – a potentially dangerous time for the painting.
When outside, the speed of work promotes an unselfconscious trust and connection to my subject and symbolic, felt, mark making. At it’s best a natural, organic, subjective truth is the result.
Inside the studio, if I am not vigilant I can become too self-conscious, second guess myself and give undo attention to information that doesn’t serve my original impulse.
My mentor John Osborne once watched me paint a load of detail into a cast shadow and waited until I was done to say, ” Well, that didn’t help on damned bit – didn’t hurt it, but didn’t help it either!”
It was a great lesson.
So, here’s to knowing when to leave a painting alone.
Poetry is rarely improved by more words.
— Joe Paquet
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