Backyard Study

Into the Water | 4/17/2020

I have been living outside this cabin since January, and everything is beautiful to me, but nothing catches my eye. This morning I woke up around 8, and crawled out of my tent to see this long, eloquent sidewalk sloping down into the water, like a water slide. This is it! This is what’s special about this property here in Mentone, Alabama. The landscape captured me, and I was sketching the shadows on the sidewalk from the hemlock branches until 11:30A.M. I want to paint it very much. I am so attached to it. The back porch is elevated eight to 10 feet above ground level and is screened in by 11, 4×8′ windows cut in half horizontally, which make a great viewfinder for me. Then, I went for a walk, and across the street I saw this couple sitting on a yellow picnic table, having brunch in the sun. Inspiration is everywhere!

Backyard composition/perspective sketch| 4/30/20

Backyard Composition Sketch | 4/30/20

I learned from my first backyard sketch that perspective is crucial to a landscape drawing. I also learned that I need to be drawing every day. It took me 3 days to figure out that the backyard is sloping down. but the trees are getting higher on my piece of sketch paper. That doesn’t make sense does it? Reason tells me that if you’re going downhill, the trees should also go down on my paper. Nature provides for evenly spaced growth. The bottom line is, I become like what I admire, the sidewalk, the hemlock or the river?

Backyard Value Sketch | 5/5/20

Backyard Value Sketch | 5/5/20

This backyard has value, but the owners are coming back in 12 days to spend summer in their cabin. This should be enough time to transfer the drawing to a panel and paint, as a gift.

Backyard Gratitude | 5/7/20

I employ and enjoy to gift others. The practice of gratitude offers me the opportunity to turn my attention to what is quietly growing and breathing within and without, day by day. I’m talking about desire and art and gratitude and this backyard.

But this is what it sounds like in my head. “Stacy, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.”

I believe in a God of grace, so, Stacy, lose all judgment of yourself! The whole heart of the parable in Matthew 25:14-30 is difficult and hard to explain.

As a result of use, my gifts increase. Practice doubles and disuse is taken away, a gradual process in this life. Dispense my gifts and it all comes back, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” To give is to live, the great theme of the universe.

Backyard Photograph, 403 West River Road, Mentone Alabama by Stacy Renee Sweeney

Backyard Color Study Plan | 5/8/2020

Urged to rummage through my collection of unused Gamblin oil paints, I found a tube of phthalo green to mix with a sample size tube of Winsor Newton cad yellow light. This must be luck, I thought, because I wanted to try this beautiful pastel like green for the moss and sun stricken bushes in front of the river. Phthalo green was also added to the dark, lacy leaves of the hemlock that functioned as a curtain to the upcoming show.

Also on my palette were French ultramarine blue (FUMB) mixed to burnt sienna. Their complimentary grays were added to the light shapes above the river and the sidewalk to lead the viewer’s eye, “Into the Water.” The strongest angle and greatest area of contrast was between the hemlock trunk and sidewalk, laying a path of invitation into the landscape.

Both burnt sienna and FUMB added to the cold, wintery feel and were scrubbed onto a canvas pad with a light amount of gamsol. All the spring green from the dogwoods will be omitted. I blocked off the river for the transparent paint + galkyd application.

Located closer to the light source, I dipped my brush first into a titrated amount of galkyd and then into viridian to make the transparent paint perform it’s gem like magic. I employed the same method for FUMB in the shadowy edges of the river and burnt sienna on the sunny side of the hemlock. My hope was to create a musical sense of rhythm throughout the painting with a limited palette.

Backyard Color Study | 12″x16″ panel| 5/15/20

The Streamline Art videos were informative, efficient, motivating and encouraging. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

With a sense of abandon, I painted this landscape color study along with Albert Handell.


Albert Handell | Painting In Oil | April 16, 2020

Unveiled is my level of paint application: dick, heavy-handed, over blender. I will keep trying until I’m out of surface and out of time.

My appointed day is here. I’ll see what happens tomorrow.
§tacy §weeney


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