The heat of August settles in, covering our studio like a mother hen backing up to roost on her nest. The cicadas are reaching a deafening pitch.
Inside, we are excited, inspired, ready. This is the first of innumerable gorgeous panoramas we came upon on a long hike in Palo Duro Canyon Texas. The skies were impossibly big, the earth red as rouge.
We discussed using a considerable amount of velatour to achieve some of the look we were going for. However, when I gave Laert a chunky oil stick rather than the oil pastel he requested, everything changed! The clouds took life instantly, the movement and texture perfectly captured. The thin layered look was then out the door. The mountains could not look more placid and tame than the sky! The rough, tumbling stone layers were made with vivid texture.
Initially, (as always, it seems!) I can get frustrated when the plans change mid project. This brain knows that up close, life is messy and chaotic. For a classical artist painting Impressionism, the rapid, free strokes bring questions of "too free?", " too loose?", "am I improving -or getting sloppy?", "where's the beautiful detail?"... After finishing this piece, we cuddled up on the couch to talk. Trying to get my head unstuck, we looked at famous impressionists' art using the zoom feature on our phones. Have you ever done that? What a mess! You'd never know what you were looking at when seeing a small square of it. You will only see color and strokes, just as wild as those which had me in turmoil. It is so hard to let go. Laert understands how to let the painting have a life of it's own, to lead it and be lead by it- the canvas and artist undulating to and fro, both working towards releasing the beauty within. This year, I look forward at our journey and know there is a long, beautiful road ahead in which I get to practice that moving relationship of leading and letting go. "Palo Duro Canyon"
39.75 x 17.5 | Oil on Wood
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