Art Cocoon Featured Artist Susan E. Hanna talks about her recent painting,
"I painted this work, Little Bay Farm, about a month ago as I stood one morning near poison ivy along a side road. Near a marsh, I posted to my fans that I would be painting 'as long as the heat and the bugs allow'. I prefer to paint small and on copper-clad panels when I work en plein air. I work with a limited seven-color palette. With copper, I use walnut alkyd as my medium. As I stood there viewing the farm, I took a reference photo just in case I didn’t finish. This piece is 8 by 4 inches. So I decided how I would crop the scene to fit for best composition. I always begin with the thing the most far away, usually it’s the sky. I mix a marbled cobalt blue and white pile and use the medium to lay in the sky. The challenge with copper is to paint with authority. The more times you layer, the less luminosity you get from the substrate. Also, the metal holds every stroke. This works particularly well en plein air when I’m trying to quickly capture the scene. Here, I painted about 1 ½ hours. I don’t retouch once I leave the site. Lastly, I love big frames for small works. I feel it gives the effect of looking out a window on the scene".
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