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Inspiration for the painting, Forest Glow at Treehouse Point, WA

One night at yoga class at Treehouse Point, I watched the sun set behind the tall evergreen trees.  As the sun lowered in the sky the forest began to glow a golden, orange color and I felt the image of this painting come into my mind’s eye.   Painting for me is a personal expression of my connection with Nature. It is about holding on to a fleeting moment in time and making that the main focus or idea of my painting.  Here is the painting, Forest Glow.

Forest Glow, 40×24, SOLD

 

Story of making the painting, “Valley Light”

Oil paining, mountain, tonalist painting, tonalism, representational art, mountains, trees, panoramic view, valley, shadow line, clouds, realism, classical painting, rosemary brushes, contemporary realism, contemporary art

Presence, 24 x 38

Late one fall afternoon I was working in my studio – and I felt a hunch that I ought to go to my special view spot in the mountains.  It was faster to ride my bike than walk, as it was nearing the end of the day- so I grabbed a backpack and threw in my sketchbook and a packet of charcoal. The weather had been variable all day with patchy clouds and sun breaks.  As I headed up the trail I could see faint light glimmering through the trees.  Higher and higher I rode, as fast as my lungs would allow.  Once I reached the clearing, the sight before me stopped me in my tracks. Reflecting off the cliffs of Mt. Si was this orange-gold light – a spectacular vision that I had never seen before; orange light with a dark shadow line rising up the flanks of the entire mountain range.  The image of this beautiful valley light burned instantly into my mind’s eye.  I knew I had to create this scene into a painting.  But wouldn’t the time please stop and let me soak in the experience a little longer?  I knew it wouldn’t – moments don’t stand still do they?  They just keep unfolding, one after another.  I felt myself accepting the orange light as it sank into my bones and I stood there, silently observing.   No drawing needed.   Luckily I had been there before to draw, so, I had, at least, a record of the important elements.  If you have ever looked at a painting for a long time maybe you’ve experienced a moment through an artist’s rendering.  Back in the studio I had the opportunity to re-experience that moment many times over – from memory.   That’s why I called this painting, Valley Light.  It’s about the Here and Now.  I like Being. Here. Now.

Clymer Museum Juried Show!

winter field, gray sky, creek, distant fir trees, purple mountains

Patterson Creek, 8 x 12

I am pleased to announce that my painting, Patterson Creek, has been accepted into the 2015 West of the Mississippi Juried Show at the Clymer Museum and Gallery in Ellensburg, WA.  I look forward to the opening on Friday, March 6th, to see all of the wonderful landscape paintings on view.  Please join me if you can, it promises to be a wonderful show!

This painting was created from a series of sketches and drawings done on site.   Later, back in the studio, I reference the drawings and my memory to create a series of thumbnail sketches to work out the final composition.   How I remember what I saw has more to do with what I felt when I saw the scene rather than the specific details.  I remember this day last February, and how this particular field had a soul searching quality to it.  I was inspired by the yellow grasses that stretched outward (or inward?) for a long distance, to the place where the land meets the sky.

Painting From Visual Memory and Imagination

Have you ever looked at something for a long time and then closed your eyes and tried to see the image in your mind’s eye?  That’s your visual memory.  It’s a muscle that can be developed to aide in the creation of paintings!

Athletes use it all the time when they try to “imagine” themselves performing a trick or move with precision.  If they can see themselves doing it in their imagination, chances are they can execute it when they try it for real.

I use my visual memory all the time when I create thumbnail sketches for future paintings and sometimes to create a whole new painting – like this one!

I haven’t named it yet.  It’s part of a series I’m doing of the Pacific Northwest.  It’s about 16″x12″