|Meadow View, High Contrast oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches|
When I step outside my studio and look to the foothills, I see this view. On one of those occasions I caught this orange sky at sunset and it prompted me to start this oil. Since the sky is a bit surreal, it compelled me to push the colors of the trees rather than using the drab greens in real life.
Once I started the canvas, things were going along nicely but after giving it a pause for a few days, the painting was lacking more punch. Obligingly, I added more colors to the line of trees and more changes to the back hills and foreground.
Two days later, I had just finished up a private lesson and in the corner of the studio, this meadow view was calling out for more work - a bigger move. There were a number of colors still on the palette from the class and a pale cobalt blue stood out. I loaded up a brush, walked over to the big oil and added the glowing blue across the top of the foothills. That made a larger change than I had counted on, but the result was a good one.
That blue really moved the painting forward and more changes would be needed to bring the rest of the oil up to that higher mark. The foreground was lacking something, being in its present green meadow state. To correct that, my first move was to add the blue-purple banding at the top of the meadow under the trees and then overpaint the meadow grass with a variety of soft colors.
The oil was essentially finished and the rest of the time was spent in what I call 'tuning up' the canvas with a variety of brighter colors, giving attention to edges and working on small compositional elements.
Looking back, the painting is quite simple, two light areas divided by one dark one but hundreds of brushstrokes make it happen. I feel so fortunate to be a painter.