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Oil on canvas, 54 X 84 inches, framed in a dark, hardwood float frame
Exhibiting: Arden’s Gallery, Houston, TX


About this oil:
Movement Across the Landscape is my largest version of this scene and the most challenging. It is essentially an abstracted landscape, recognizable but with pared-down details.


Working in this scale has its challenges. First, the 7-foot span requires the physical application of many layers of paint over a large surface area and as an artist, I was struck at how it seemed I was actually IN the landscape. Because of the large scale, I was literally walking back and forth as the painting evolved and it produced some interesting and unexpected developments.


Right away, I began to exaggerate the slope of the scene, moving it downward to the right. Also, the colors began to brighten, pushing a left to right movement by amplfying the hotter colors on the left, then giving way to the lighter yellows and cooler greens and blues on the right. Beyond the line of trees are layers of distant hills, extending the depth and a dense, but delicate mass of clouds to contain the entire scene.


To increase these impressions of depth and slope, the tree at the lower right takes a position in a somewhat extreme foreground. That position is made even more arresting by the dark, saturated blues. You can’t see through that tree, something that evolved along the way, requiring the viewer to ‘go around’ the tree to enter the landscape. It’s a direct result of my literally walking past that blue tree to enter the rest of the painting over a series of weeks.


I realized that this landscape gained more presence as unnecessary details were pulled back. Again, it is a result of my walking back and forth across this canvas. The more I was IN it, the more I was tempted to make it DO something rather than represent a scene. I observed that this painting had more potential and something beyond representational details would be required.


In order to make that happen, the colors became more intense and the edges more defined at the areas where the landscape moved downward. The painting gained additional power by exaggerating the dark blues in the foreground tree and behind the line of yellow trees at the middle left.


This composition has acres of land at its center and to keep it interesting, numerous colors are arrayed, providing texture and movement. The end effect is a bright, dynamic landscape with movements in opposing directions horizontally and as viewed from front to back.


I enjoyed the process of adding a bit more power and vitality to what is still a calm and peaceful scene.


Movement Across the Landscape, 54 X 84 inches

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