Art Thought for the Day

Paintings in Progress

A few of you may remember that I was posting images of an elk painting in progress. I’m sure the suspense has been killing you. As it happens, it was a bust. Too many problems with the drawing of the elk that I saw after I’d let it sit awhile. Win some, lose some.

But here are two that are well on the way-

First is a bobcat I photographed at the Triple D Game Ranch and transferred to a more interesting setting that I shot on the Firehole River in Yellowstone. The trick, of course, is to make the light match when the reference is from two different locations, like Montana vs. Wyoming. However, both are morning light.

The second is Mt. Moran at Grand Tetons National Park with the famous Oxbow of the Snake River in the foreground. I’ve got three pieces of reference up for this one. One is overexposed for the mountains, but has the compositional angle I want and great reflections. The other two have rich color and show more detail of the mountain. For this subject, as I learned from a workshop I took a few years ago with Jim Wilcox, one has to introduce some atmospheric perspective in order for the painting to “read” correctly. The air is soooo clear that the Tetons look to be a few hundred yards away, but actually they are around 10-12 miles from the major vantage points along the road. So, getting the value relationships right is critical. And so is being decisive and accurate in the drawing of the mountain. It’s really a portrait in rock. Stay tuned.

ART THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I see a flower. It gives me the sensation of the beautiful. I wish to paint it. And as soon as I wish to paint it I see the whole subject-flower-changed. It is now an art problem to resolve.

Georges Vantongerloo

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