Vineyard Sunset 14 x 18 – oil on canvas
This painting will be going into a show beginning on September 15 – my first group show at Descanso Gardens.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how much I love Descanso – in every season. It’s one of my very favorite places to paint. So being invited to participate in a group exhibition and sale there is something that makes me very happy. I will be exhibiting both watercolor and oil paintings in the Carriage House and will post more details here as the date approaches.
Now, about this painting. This was done from a photo reference, but the shot was quite different. For one thing, the sun was in a different position, the sky was blue and it was earlier in the day. The whole sunset look (and the color palette associated with it) came about at the underpainting stage.
What I learned from this: sometimes it’s wise not to begin a painting with fixed notions. Have a plan, yes, but be open to change if an idea strikes you that you like better than your plan. Then, be prepared to improvise. As soon as I made one major change from my photo reference, I put the photo aside and referred to it no more. At that point, every decision had to be made about the color of the imaginary scene, not the real one. What color would the hills be that time of day? How would light coming at a low angle look different than sunlight coming from above? How could I make the road more interesting than simple flat gravel? How would I add rocks and ruts with the right colors to make them look as though they belonged in the scene? What would clouds look like if I added them? All these thoughts began swirling in my head as I departed from reality.
Tomorrow I deliver my large somewhat surreal watercolor “My Offering – My Confession” to Brand Library for the hanging of the juried 36th annual Works on Paper show opening in early October. Times are hectic, but in a good creative way. I’m grateful for all these opportunities and really couldn’t ask for more.