A misty morning along the Rio Grande River, looking across to a cottonwoods and willows. A lush environment in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.
This is the latest in a small series I am doing around the Rio Grande river. In this case using quick strokes with a writing brush on rough watercolor paper. In this case, I am revisiting a piece I did earlier that has created much comment. 11" x 30" image size, unframed
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Image was photographed to represent original colors, but your monitor colors may vary the colors slightly.
The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site.
Open skies, storms coming in, sweeping vistas, mountains and grasslands all call for broad strokes and bold light and shadows. I strive for an economy of color and execution that can bring a landscape to life. If I can capture the shadows, forms, space at a given moment with the flow of line and color, then I can start to feel that I have succeeded. Working in such a quick, expressive manner can be like playing a jazz riff, improvising with the moment. I start with the basic composition, placing elements as needed, some planning on where I want light and shadow. Then I throw away the sketch, the photograph, look away from the reality and let the paint, the brush and the water flow.