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Lafitte's Plein Air Painting by Robert Matheson


Size: 11"x14"
Material:   Oil on textured panel
Year: 2016

My first visit to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop was with my brother Jeff, roughly 15 years ago. He and I had a great time wandering around New Orleans and I've always remembered this place from our trip together. Maybe because it was owned previously by two smuggling brothers, Jean and Pierre Lafitte. During my most recent trip, I saw numerous paintings of Lafitte's throughout the city. My version was painted on site, the morning of Thursday, March 31st, 2016.
The painting session was fun overall but began a little frustrating. I forgot my handheld palette and didn't have anything suitable as a back-up, so I placed puddles of paint directly on the panel and mixed my colors from there. The result was a fast-and-loose style with thick, muddy paint. The panel I used was textured beforehand with hand pressed puddles of gesso, which added to the heavy texture. Once the oil paints dried, I added some glazing and scumbling in the highlights to draw focus to the corner entrance. I'm proud to have added to the legacy of paintings this building and the Lafitte brothers have inspired (click here to view more artist renditions on google images). Who Dat?!

© Robert Matheson 2016. All rights reserved.