Feeling the rhythm
Painting the landscape, for me, is about rhythm and patterns, whether the inspiration comes from a light source, geology or the colors of Mother Nature. My hand and eyes follow a musical path through the painting process. I love this dance. Often, at the beginning of my process,
I will create a strong monochromatic underpainting based on light and dark shapes in pastel that I melt with turpenoid and move around with a large bristle brush. If one were to watch me paint at this stage,
Fire and Ice, pastel on archival board, 36 x 24" (91 x 61 cm)
Vibrating complementary colors make the illusion of light dance in Fire and Ice. I use the side of the pastel stick like a fully loaded paintbrush, dragging one color over another to create “glazes” of shimmering abstract strokes. As much fun as placing one beautiful color next to another beautiful color is, a strong dark and light pattern must be present to carry the design.
you would see a lot of movement with the brush, working in a gestural fashion, implying detail with large strokes and a great deal of energy, almost salsa or tango like. Toward the end of completing a painting the rhythm shifts to a slow dance, a more considered movement, my strokes more deliberate, similar to a smooth waltz with pauses and a gentle glaze.
While I enjoy painting diversified landscapes, I find painting snow scenes particularly tantalizing—a cool note against the warm ochres, siennas and umbers. Often the ground plane is lighter than the sky, and the reflected colors in the snow provide a stellar playground to play with color temperature changes.
In the studio, I have several paintings going at any given time. I will work on the one that sings to me the loudest that day.
Gossamer Coat, pastel on archival board, 24 x 30" (61 x 76 cm)
Funny, this is one of those paintings that paint themselves. You know, when you create something and you do not remember how you got there? Gossamer Coat is a studio painting based off a painting trip to the Colorado Rockies. I remember the smooth thin coating of ice on the river, and just a tiny hint of light hitting the dusting of snow. Originally, I had the sky filled with dark cloud cover, and the painting looked almost sad. So, at the end, I decided to bring life and joy to the piece with a beautiful peek of blue sky.
Orchestral Arrangements, pastel on archival board, 24 x 30" (61 x 76 cm) Orchestrating light through a painting is tremendous fun. Light and dark patterns are what create strength in work seen from afar, and color brings the viewer in closer to...