Process that traces reflection

The series of small images on the right are shots I took through the process of painting this last weekend. 

The canvas is relatively large for me at 24 by 30″ but I’ve been finding that painting a little larger allows me the freedom to use the larger brush and to be more gestural as I lay it out. The subject matter for this one was a little bit of an aggregate of several images that I had. First was a photograph that I had taken years ago close to home that had great light behind a good storm cloud. It wasn’t your basic thunderhead, but more of a whole weather front and it intrigued me.

Second, I’ve been wanting to try to capture one of those wonderful waves of rain that come out of a storm cloud in a thunderstorm so this was going to be a try at that too.

In addition to that challenge, I had just gone back and  watched one of the episodes of Outlander and been enjoying the wonderful vistas they filmed of the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina. They really are lovely hills and I have seen them many times in person. 

As a result I put all those elements together into this new picture. The final photo is taken at an angle while the painting is on my board so that you can see where it stands right now. It may be considered done, or it may be that I’ll dither with it a little more, but it’s close enough to show you. Sometimes paintings are just about the learning process; discovering how values laying next to each other affect our perception of that color; discovering how detail or lack of detail can control the wanderings of the eye; or how we can control and vary the lighting in 2 different places on a landscape.

My thanks to an artist friend and our conversation on Sunday. You gave me a great deal to ponder. Sometimes having something mulling around in your mind while you’re at the easel helps by running two conversations at the same time like sub processing while you’re working. Enjoy this final painting titled “Watching the Storm from the Ridge”.

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