Old House Plume Poppies
I created this plein air painting in 2018. It’s our house, a beautiful early 1800s farmhouse on top of the mountain in Washington, Massachusetts. In it’s earlier days, our house was in the center of town. The cemetery and old town hall is across the street. The church used to be next door. It’s not in the center of town any longer, but the house is still majestic. This is an original section of the house off of the main part. On one side of the house is a healthy stand of plume poppies. At the time I painted this, honey bees were all over the poppies, and the plants were positively electric with activity. It was a beautiful, bright summer day, and I wanted to capture that.
It’s 6″ x 8″, painted with oils on masonite.
In 2018, I was inspired to take an intensive plein air workshop with Dan Graziano, a painter I admire. I packed up my art supplies into my 1966 Shasta camper and drove to Castine, Maine. It’s a beautiful little town. I camped at a state forest, but I didn’t spend much time there. I was intensively learning the art of plein air painting. There’s a concentration that comes from attempting to capture a moment in time. Too much fussing, and the lighting will have changed; The same subject is there, but the feeling can be completely different. So plein air is about capturing the essence and not getting caught up in detail.
After the workshop, I came back home and took several weeks to build on what I learned. This is one of a series of paintings I did of scenes around the Berkshires that caught my fancy at that time.