Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, September 30, 2011

Texture, texture, texture......

Quinault Summer Rise
One of my goals on our vacation a few weeks ago, was to paint a plein air painting on multiple day settings. Going back to the same place and re-working the same panel is a good challenge, especially at a place where the weather changes quickly. So, i landed on this composition near our cabin that i have enjoyed for a long time and decided this was my challenge piece.
Day one was a good start with calm water and nice reflections
Day two, weather was socked in and no sun to be had (no work on this piece)
Day three, sun was out again, but the water changed and my foliage reflections diminished, so the painting changed too.
Day four, well there was no day four on this painting, at least en plein air. Over the next couple weeks it was studio noodled for it was not as textured or as deep as i wanted it to be.
Layer upon layer did color get applied, worked, re-worked, then worked again in an effort to blend and use broken color so the under painting would show through and the texture would be evident. I think i accomplished this.
As i think about my favorite parts of this painting; the foreground foliage, the way the sky blends with the evergreens, the middle ground foliage was fun too. Actually the entire painting was fun for i gave myself the freedom that nothing was sacred. All was fair game for re-work.
The biggest challenge of this piece was the foreground water, and it was what i spent the most time on. A lot of thought, a lot of mixing of color, a lot of making shapes, and a lot of layering took place in this area. It was at times frustrating, but i was determined to get believable texture, and giving myself the "nothings sacred" frame of mind made all the difference.
I also remembered and implemented the mirror trick. Viewing a painting in a mirror, really gives a different perspective and allows the "problem areas" to become more obvious. It should also be no surprise that this painting came on the heels of Pacific NW Plein Air art show in Hood River at the Columbia Art Gallery, where Eric Jacobsen took First Place with "Peaceful Evening". The juror was the acclaimed painter Jim Lamb. Now, i am in no way saying that my stuff is on the level of Eric's, but his work is a huge inspiration for me and he is a dear friend.
Good friend and fellow artist, Celeste Bergin, also took Honorable Mention with "Serenade". Great going Celeste!
Click on the link to see the award winning paintings of that show:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michael...thanks for the mention!
    I love this painting...and the first thing I thought about it was---"great water!" I was interested to read how you accomplished it. It really has wonderful "depth" and movement. I had to look up Quinault...I did not know where it is. Looks like a great place to paint!