Friday, April 18, 2008


This painting was done in response to a mood I felt when I was out one evening after the sun had gone down. Time at moments like this seems to pass very quickly - everything changes so fast. The light fades and colors are drawn to shades of grey. The magic happens within perhaps ten minutes or so - one has to work quickly. This small valley hides a stream within the mass of mid-ground vegetation and the open fields are surrounded by steadily maturing trees with some smaller bushes. I stood for some time looking until it was almost dark and with the image firmly in my mind, I later relied on what I saw that evening when it came time to paint. Over the years I have found my memory retains certain moods and feelings that I can bring back much later to use in a painting. This is certainly useful as an artist and most of what I had seen and felt that evening seemed to come out in this small work. The painting was also an exercise in the use of deep green, a colour that I always struggled with. The culprit is my tube of permanent green deep which is so strong that it stains the hairs of my paint brushes but I am determined to master it! I have learnt to use it very sparingly and grey it out with burnt sienna. I can then lighten it with yellow ochre and perhaps a hint of white. It is these deep tones that make the painting, and the way that they contrast with the brighter but toned down sky. This oil is 9" X 12".

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