Sunday, January 16, 2011

Red Rock Country

Once again, the Southwestern Art forum on the Wetcanvas website supplied the challenge and the photos.  I combined two beautiful pictures taken by artist John Tubbs and posted on that a beautiful shot of yellow gold clouds over the mountains and the other of a gnarled pine in Bryce Canyon.  I combined the two photos in Adobe Elements after flipping the pine for composition purposes.  I reused a canvas with an old plein air painting on it...something I'm going to do more of simply to try to keep from adding to the stacks of paintings everywhere I look around here. 

This painting is quickly done in two short sessions.  I didn't follow a logical progression by first painting a complete sky and cloud background, letting that set up and then painting the tree.  No, that would have made too much sense.  Instead I worked on the tree and sky simultaneously, creating a nearly impossible muddle and a zillion 'sky holes' to paint.  The painting is not done, obviously.  I'm not sure if I'll spend more time on it or not.  I really like the composition...I took a lot of liberties with the photo reference and I think the painting composition is more than the sum of the two references.  On the other hand, the subject matter could be much more refined and finished.  In the end, I might just stop here and use this as a reference and study for something larger.  We'll see. 

It's oil on canvas.  16"x12"