Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver, CO, $5700 framed About this oil: Living in Colorado, I have access to landscape vistas of all kinds. There is a much to see here in those large vistas but I am also looking on the small scale, searching for that landscape fragment that yields a more abstracted idea. This composition is one of those tantalizing, small views discovered inside a larger scene. I couldn’t wait to paint it and I used it as a demonstration painting for a delightful art class I recently taught. This scene is very high contrast and I began painting those darks onto that stark, white canvas, it was very powerful. For the class, I only put in the dark trees, leaving the sky, middle and light areas at the bottom blank. I was debating the idea of green, alpine meadow scene, so I put it aside to work on a large commission and the other works in the studio that were nearing completion. Weeks passed and finally, I had to decide and opted for the higher contrast and more powerful idea of snow rather than green meadows. As soon as I added a ‘snow blue’ to the center of the scene, the opportunity for a variety of subtle blues presented itself – not bright hues, but subtle, glowing blues to create this center band of snow in shadow, a more interesting option and I went for it. Some of the original, maximum darks remain to push the contrast and set up more drama and weight at the bottom of the piece. In the end, a very nice upward movement is created, out of the winter blue world and into the warm and bright sky just beyond the ridge.
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