Exhibited: Renjeau Gallery, Natick, MA
Thank you to the private collector in MA that purchased this oil.
I've been thinking about this oil for about a year now. In early 2014, I painted a 48 x 48 version and ever since I've wanted to do it again as a brighter and larger horizontal.
Doing another version doesn't necessarily make it any easier. I did have that earlier template as a roadmap but happily there were some problems to solve along the way. Each difficulty required solutions that took the painting down another path, adding uniqueness to the new version.
Problems came up right away with the background. There is a lot of space running from left to right and to keep it interesting, three ideas were brought into play. The appeal of that original oil was the glowing blue field and it was the primary reason I wanted to do this bigger version.
Once the blue background was in, the painting was insisting on more interest and complexity. After a couple of weeks experimenting with different ideas a simple solution presented itself. I tried painting in a considerable amount of background yellows on the right, covering about half of the background. It was just too much yellow, so on the left I added a hint of barely discernable trees with the reds and purples.... too much again.
After letting it all dry, I began again by putting the middle blues back in place and carefully watched what effect it was having - a lovely blue haze was appearing. Once I used the blues to subtract the yellows on the right, a nice solution presented itself. I let the blues outline the yellows and submerged the blues into was was becoming hints of foliage into the left.
It is difficult to see here, but I made sure that the yellows on the ground were different from those in the background.
Once the top trees had the mass and weight they required, I added a variety of colors to provide interest with hints of ambient and direct light in that upper mass.
After starts, stops, dead ends, solutions and hundreds of marks, these delicate trees came to life, surrounded by a glowing blue haze. It was nice to put it into the frame and watch it breathe and glow.