Quarry at Halibut Point

Quarry at Halibut Point
Oil on Canvas
24" x 30"

While yesterday I passed up a great day and painted inside, today I took good advantage of the weather. I was out early and on my way up to Cape Ann, where I've done a lot of work lately. Normally, I just go, paint, and leave, but today I decided to spend a few hours doing pencil sketches before doing the big painting. So I sketched at several places in Gloucester before moving on to Rockport, where I took my sketchbook and wandered around town for an hour or so, just making quick studies. Although I've promised myself that I'd never paint Motif #1, today I was tempted. There were 6 workmen in bright red shirts re-roofing the structure... it looked like it was covered with busy little lobsters.

Halibut Point is an abandoned quarry north of the village where I've painted a few times before, always from the trails overlooking the quarry. Today, though, I got right down in it, and was painting a few feet above the water line. Getting down and back up was a real challenge -- particularly with a wet 24x30 canvas fastened to my french easel.

So this was a formal study in balancing two very uneven masses, the enormous rock wall and the small grove of trees. When I got home, I had to do quite a lot of reworking; there was actually a tree line stretching from the rock wall over to the grove on the right, which I dutifully painted in on site. However, it was really robbing the independence of the grove, and it was unable to function as a counterweight to the mass of the rock wall. With the treeline removed, I think it's much better.

This is going to be a part of my Surf & Turf show in July.