Clayton works on a variety of paintings every day, in part due to the different lighting of landscapes and in part because one can only apply so much oil paint before it needs to dry. One of his current studies is a landscape depicting the warmth of early morning light on a frosty morning. As he paints Clayton writes down what he has done: the colors and how much of each he used in the hillside and the woods; the difference from fore to background; the layers he has used to achieve a color harmony in the painting; what he has done to depict the effects of light in the scene. In this specific painting there is a horse with a blanket in the foreground. He noted that he used ultramarine of different thicknesses to portray the blue blanket and its folds, and then added cerulean blue where the blanket was lit by the sun. By keeping a log, Clayton can later compare his studies to see what has worked best to depict the desired effect.
Clayton’s art reflects the environment in which he works and lives. Now mid- October, Clayton has been gathering pears and apples form the orchard he planted ten years ago. The vegetable garden is winding down, though still producing some above ground fruits and vegetables. Clayton picked the last Warren pear and brought it along with a couple of Sungold tomatoes into the studio to paint instead of eat. Since his pears aren’t sprayed with any chemicals, sometimes insects will burrow in, leaving indentations as the pear grows around their entry point. Organic growing can make for interesting looking fruit, and this pear has character. The two orange cherry tomatoes offer an eye catching contrast in color to the green Warren pear.