I just remember back to being a kid, driving along in the back seat of a station wagon, us kids with Mom and Dad, going on up to Yosemite. The thrill of being in a different place with all of the spectacular mountains and forest beauty, was fine.
And later, going along with the Santa Barbara City College Earth Sciences Dept. to explore further the ancient layered rock constructions; places like Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and Capitol Reef. The areas in between not to be forgotten, though hidden under roadways and random construction- the integrity of the western Land still shining through.
Land shines through in the study of landscape painting as it deals with the design, patterns, and constructions of nature- too, the visual distances across the Land. Let us visit the structural and textural make-up of clouds, rivers, and mountains. And, very much like a paint-by-number kit, the making of pictures is a matter of filling in the various spaces and shapes with color, while placing them there with depth.
To me humbling, for the contemplation and respect for the things of this world always surpasses the effect of the picture for which I am attempting to paint,
but- the pictures arrre getting better!
Often I think of light and how it has been described; as soft light, harsh light, radiant, reflective, penetrating, somber, tangerine colored, stark, and even obscure. Light has the power to shimmer through leaves, grapes, and window panes, illuminating within and- without. Trying to capture and understand just what the light is doing and where it is bouncing off and going to- is a path of life study.
Paging Sir Isaac Newton.
While observing the edges of things and discovering how it is that they interact with each other is also of great interest to myself and friends. The tree silhouettes, especially at dusk, are of particular delight because it is here that the branches and leaves really do differentiate one from another- becoming increasingly distinct. This, is as opposed to during the daytime, when all that I see is green.
Question; Why is it that I favor oil paints and painting so much? It is because the oils are "measurable" in that one can equally measure the amount of color mixed proportionally, so as to hopefully contain a somewhat consistent result. Ultimately to better shape the picture's progress.
Also, the oil paint contains, grain-wise, more granular substance than the others. Solid, just like the Earth.
I enjoy using Painting as a “vehicle” in searching to find a way to further learn about the earth, and communicate, the ideas of Land and Sky. And sometimes as a craft to drive into subjects for which there are usually few, or no words.