Today's paint out was at Samuel Lewis State Park. I was so excited for the rest of my plein air group to see the expansive river view from the top of the hill. I was looking forward to painting that vista, but we arrived to find the area dense with fog. Visibility was only about 100 yards ahead and the "view" was under a white cloud. Most of us decided to make the best of the unique lighting of the day and focused on the rock formations and veiled trees. Though it was not the painting I had planned on doing, I am happy with the results. You can never really plan on nature to give you the perfect conditions, but it usually presents something different, and often better.
So much of my work straddles the line between "fine" and "decorative" art. Sometimes I tell myself that the decorative painting for clients is a lesser art than the work that comes purely from myself, and I know that is a false insecurity that I need to work through. Even though I am working for a homeowner or interior designer, and the work is on a wall or furniture piece rather than on a framed canvas, I still put the same thought into a project. In fact, sometimes I feel it takes more talent and creativity to work within someone else's guidelines of color, size, or style. You have to also think of the entire room as a work of art where all elements work together, and not just what is happening within the borders of your painting.
This is a vignette I painted on a large stove hood which is being installed in the Harrisburg Symphony Designer Showhouse. It shows the historic house and barn as I imagined it would look in the 1700's. I did some sketching and photographing on the property which I used as references for this painting. The color scheme (or lack of) was the designer's request, but everything else about this design is mine. At first I was wishing I could add more color, but now I think the muted grays and creams add to the vintage feel of this and will work well with the other elements in the room.