Pine Creek Gorge Paintings: #4

Tibor Kalman, a well-known graphic designer,  said once that he only ever did the same design or drawing twice: once to figure out how to do it and the second time to do it right.

Well, I can’t say I only paint scenes twice — I’m not as fast on the uptake as Kalman. Sometimes it takes six or eight tries before I think I’ve gotten it “right.”

So, here’s number two of that Pine Creel tree and creek scene:


Tree and Water 2, Pine Creek Series, 12 x 16″, Oil on board

Of course, we can’t count the number of drafts any given painting goes through before it’s signed as “numbered” pieces; drafts are often innumerable.

In talking of drafts of paintings, I speak, specifically, of the next painting of a shale ledge which gave me lots of trouble and still isn’t “right.” I have a visceral memory the shale outcrops along Pine Creek, particularly when they occurred in the little side streams where we would go wading when it was 87 degrees and 87 percent humidity. The shale was deliciously cold and smooth underfoot, whereas the boulders and cobblestones of the main stream were relentlessly painful underfoot. So the shale ledges have special meaning to me; I decided it was time to post this:

pcshaleshelf2wShale Ledge (Pine Creek Series), 12 x 16″, oil on board

And here’s the latest version (i.e. draft 3) of the larger Little Four Mile Run that I posted the other day:

littlefourmilerun1824draft3Little Four Mile Run (Pine Creek Series), 18 x 24″, Oil on board.

All these paintings were done from photos, courtesy of Charlie Bierly, and are available for sale, proceeds to benefit a scholarship fund for Jersey Shore (PA) high school students.

And just for fun, I’ve uploaded the variation of Tree and Water that I posted a day or so ago, and that earlier version of the 18 x 24 inch Little Four Mile Run. (I’m content for the moment with the 12 x 16″ version of the Little…Run).  You can do your own comparisons. –June

pinecreektreewaterwTree and Water 1 (Pine Creek Series), 12 x 16, oil on board

littlefourmilerun1824wLittle Four Mile Run (Pine Creek Series), draft 1, 18 x 24, Oil on board.

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7 Responses to Pine Creek Gorge Paintings: #4

  1. june says:

    Thanks, Terry. It might be a bit of both nog and nostagia.


  2. terry grant says:

    There must have been something really good in your Christmas nog this year, because I think these paintings are terrific! Or maybe it’s the nostalgic connection that is coming through. Anywho, love what you’re doing.


  3. June says:

    Naming is a real challenge, isn’t it? In Portland, I’ve have been naming by location (“5th and Main”, for example). But now that I’m doing all four corners plus a composite of various corners, the naming tends to get confused: NE Corner of 5th and Main? or was it the SW corner? And where the angles are confused, such as where Ladd’s addition at 14th and Hawthorne enters at that odd angle and is neither 14th nor Hawthorne — well, I just cross my fingers and make something up.

    I do remember Ann Johnston’s series Balancing Act — all were named “Balancing Act” with a number attached. “Balancing Act 37” really appealed to me (I just made that up — but I do think she had about 100 of those pieces.)


  4. Del says:

    I learned my lesson about naming quilts (similar to paintings) by calling a Journal Quilt “Passing Mars”. Then I made a much larger quilt on the same subject and dubbed it “Mars Passing”. Or maybe it is the other way around!!


  5. Del says:

    Sure – drafts are those leaks under the door and variations are different kinds of fruit trees. See, I’m not so dumb!


  6. June says:

    Sorry, Del, to have been so confusing. I think I had to post this way just as a brag — I have sorted through all the extant photos, looking at all the versions, drafts, and variation, and _think_ I have labeled them appropriately. (I tend to forget which paintings have already been photographed (and looked OK in the photographs) so I’m always doing them again. And then I have these files with all these photos with no identification except date (which is actually quite helpful).)

    So after having gone through all my Pine Creek photos and cleared out the debris and sussed out the best of the photography, I just had to brag by showing a couple of older paintings with similar names to the newer paintings and discussing the difference between drafts and variations.

    Now the question is: can you tell me what I mean by “drafts” and “variations” ? Note that I don’t say “versions” here, although heaven only knows what I called these things in the posts.

    Thanks for checking in and saying such nice things. Tree and Water do have that Van Gogh wilderness, particularly of the paint handling, that I love. I reserve it for occasions when I really need to slather on paint over top a wet scene — the paint has to be full-bodied (like beer), and heavy, so it doesn’t mix and become mud with the under paintings. Most often the underpainting is thin enough and dries quickly enough that I can be more smooth and frugal with the paint. So it’s not so much a style as a technical assist.


  7. Del says:

    Whoa! I’m getting confused. I think I would need to stick to only two versions. Poor old brain can’t keep that many paintings sorted out. I think that the water in “Little Four Mile Run 1 (Pine Creek Gorge Series), 12 x 16 inch, oil on board, painted, by permission, from a photo by Charlie Bierly”, is very realistic. Both up close and back a few steps. And Shale Ledge is also great. The two Tree and Water pieces look rather like Van Gogh to my eye. But you know that I have no art training, so what do I know? Keep it up, but stay dry and warm at all times. Love, Del


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