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 site...one 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"