Friday, September 30, 2011

The Soccer Field

Linover Park, 6" X 8", Oil on panel, 2010
Years went by, three kids, every fall right around now, the soccer season starts.  Teams were picked, practice schedules handed out, later uniforms and finally opening day, the big bake sale and then the games.  I always sat here wistfully looking at these trees thinking that by the end of the season there would be a few brown leaves left, after watching the autumn color show.  And what started in shorts and tee shirts always ended up in heavy winter coats--it got cold as a spectator.   The games were usually over by dusk, and each kid in their own time and I would drive home in the dark discussing ball controll skills or whatever. 

This piece began life as a pen and ink sketch during the first kid's soccer carreer.

Linover Park sketch, 1993

Some time later I glued it down to a panel and used my tinted gum arabic method to develop the tonal qualities, exploring that idea of a rapid oil painting approach.  Aaa. Threw it in a drawer along with several other similar plaques.  I found it a couple years ago, set up a pallet and slopped the paint on for old time's sake (the first time with oils in twenty years).   I observed it for over a year, and then last winter just before I started this blog I finished it with the glazing, tuning and the foreground shadow (which it needed bad). 

This thing started out when my first kid was about 10, he's now 27.  All those games, all that life, all the art.  Haven't been to Linover in years.

Update: Out of curiosity and LW's comment, I just went over to grab a shot.  Looks like they still have up the bunting from opening day, and the trees are getting a bit yellower.

Linover Park, 2011


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15 comments:

L.W.Roth, said...

This, first of all is beautiful Bill. Your greens tinted with blue and sparked with warm highlights are terrific. I would have loved to have seen what you started with nineteen years ago.
The comparison would have revealed how much our viewpoint towards a subject changes with time--this one with years, but sometimes even a month will make a difference in how we perceive something. We are always changing.

William Cook said...

Hey LW--I bet nothing much has changed at the field, maybe a couple trees missing. I think I may have glued a photocopy of the drawing--I may still have the original drawing. Check back, I'll try to fine it--and maybe grab a snapshot. Good point--that might be instructive. What's glaringly missing is all the children, talk about change. There's hope though, my first grandson will be born in November!

RH Carpenter said...

Beautiful painting, Bill, but it's the memory that's even better - and the time line! WOW! Although I could get lost in that blue shadowed green, brrr, feeling the cool wind coming and wondering if I could slip some bourbon in the coffee thermos :)

William Cook said...

Whoa Rhonda--Sweet. I could see the headlines now, "Loud Parent Rolls Down Hill At Linover--Old Granddad Safe On Blanket".

SamArtDog said...

Ah, yes. This seems to be a melancholy season. Lots of blue shadows where friends used to be.
Oh, good! I just noticed all of your orange soccer traffic cones. Reminds me that things will warm up when the trees spark red. I want to stoke this winter's fire with Fauvist fuel. Some crazy color should do me good..

hw (hallie) farber said...

There is such quiet beauty in this painting.

Franco said...

The painting is very beautiful!!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

I loved the trip down the lanes of your memories of that spot! Parents on bleachers and kids running around and the feeling of joy that one of the kids was YOUR kid. It does look lonely without the people inhabiting it, and yet is stronger in a Hopper or Wyeth kind of way.

And BIG congrats on the upcoming arrival of your grandson! Woo hoo!

William Cook said...

Hi Sam-- I lit up when you mentioned Fauvists. I've been thinking seriously along those lines too. Thanks for commenting

Thanks Hallie--I know. This is quite a place when there's nobody around. All the best.

Thank you Franco--I'm happy you like it. Best.

Hi Katherine--I think those cones kind of take the Hopper/Wyeth eeriness down a bit though--at least there will be a game soon. I thought you'd get a kick out of the baby news--considering your new addition. Congratulations back at you. All the best!

Sadeu said...

very interesting the treatment of the color, very well : )

William Cook said...

Thank you Sadeu--nice of you to say.

Jane said...

What a great painting, you really are a master in controlling all these different shades of green. So soothing for the eyes! And this is really a painting with a story!

Hugs!

William Cook said...

Hi Jane--Thanks a bunch. All the best.

Steven W. Dunn said...

Good looking athletic field you've painted here! My grandsons don't play soccer, however I've experienced the pleasure of many baseball games (I don't like baseball)with great joy because it's "them" doing the playing. Your palette speaks the language of the scene so very well.
I don't know if I'm rolling down the hill or if I'm safe on the blanket; but I do want to be a party to the sharing of Rhonda's thermos!
Steven

William Cook said...

Hey Steven--Great comment, and I agree. Rhonda may have something here, perhaps applicable to some of the more nippy plein aire sessions as well. I just have to make sure I stop when the JB starts tasting like turps.

Welcome to the blog.

Great to make a new friend! Stopped by your blog to see what you do and wow--look who's having all the fun! Great work! I'll definitely stay in touch. All the best.