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  • Writer's pictureMarta Stephens

Summer Bounty

14" x 11 Acrylic on canvas.

I've been really impressed with the bounty from the tomatoes I planted along the fence near my back door this year. The last time I checked, several of these beautiful beefeaters were getting ripe hence the inspiration for my latest painting.

Every time I start a new piece, I think how fun it would be to take photos of it throughout the process. Still, nine times out of ten and despite my best intensions, I usually get so caught up in what I'm doing that I forget to track my progress. This time, I made it a point to do just that, so here goes.

I sat down to paint Summer Bounty yesterday afternoon around 4:00 PM which is extremely unusual for me since I've never been able to start anything new that late in the day.

I began with a basic sketch, layout, and blocking out a few dark areas. This first photo shows the initial 15 minutes of work.

I don't use a complicated pallet. Instead, I work with primary colors and a few extra like white, raw and burnt sienna, raw and burnt umber, and a sparing use of black.

As you might guess from looking at my collection of works, yellows and blues are my favorites.

Working with a limited pallet isn't a hindrance at all. Rather, it allows me to come up with a huge range of colors and unique hues, and tones which I love mixing directly onto the canvas.

I've worked hard this past year to paint loosely and learned to allow the colors to do their thing. I especially love it when, with a single brush stroke, I "slap" paint onto the canvas, one color over another, and they magically blend together to produce unexpected curvatures or glints of light, or dramatic shadows. So many wonderful possibilities!

The last three photographs show the progress over the next few hours.

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