Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Painting: Spacious No. 3: The Dry Lands

These mountains, rising in the distance under an expanse of sky, began their existence looking like scenery on the planet MARS. The underpainting I used for this oil-on-canvas-board scene was cadmium red.  You can see it clearly in the stage on the right. The main shapes of the mountains and the road line were immediately laid in with a soft cloth. I learned this technique when I went to a demonstration where a painter used it to build  a flower painting.  The red was hard to give up though, so this painting ended up as a Southwestern sort of scene.  I thought the colors were off, but a friend who'd lived out west told me this is how the mountains look at a certain time of year.  I'm not positive that I'm through with it.  I have terrible urges to add items to the foreground such as a rusty pickup, a gates, an oil derek, a wagon wheel, an OKeefe-eske skull, or an antique gas pump, or aburro, etc. etc - all the usual Western sterio-typical items. I am trying to resist this urge.

One thing I like about this painting is a funny effect the sky has in different light. Sometimes the clouds almost seem to have a depth, I think from the layering of blue and white that I used. Sometimes it looks like it must be raining over the mountains. Sometimes it looks like dusk, and there is a city on the other side of the mountains - giving off a glow.  It's quite odd. And I am not sure if I could reproduce it.

It occurs to me that I have not posted Spacious No 2, nor Spacious No 1 - so I guess I am ahead of myself somehow.