Thursday, May 8, 2008


I saw this scene of one of my travels and was immediately attracted by the shadows cast on the snow by the tall trees behind me. I also liked the way that they led your eye into the scene. The warm trees and grasses contrasted nicely against the cooler snow and sky. Because I wanted the focus to be on the lower part of the painting, I kept the sky relatively simple graduating the blue towards the horizon and adding just a few warmer clouds. I really enjoyed working on the strip of vegetation creating texture and depth by laying colors onto each other - something that I am doing more often now. There are some warm highlights in the foreground where the low sun angle is catching the ridges in the snow and this helps also with the balance between cool and warm colours. Although a simple scene, there is enough going on here to keep your eye moving about the work.
Unlike my paintings of interiors, I often edit my landscapes removing (or moving) trees, adding bushes and doing all manner of things in the search of a perfect composition. In this view, there was a large tree right in the center which polarized the painting into two halves. Leaving out the tree was an early decision and also an easy one to make. Other times, I have finished a work and wondered why I wasn't that happy with it - then the looking and thinking starts! When this happens I prop up the painting in my lounge and glance at it from time to time as I walk by. This usually does the trick and I am able to see what to do next within the context of making it a better painting. Fortunately, there was none of that here! Morning Sun is an oil on canvas, size 12" X 14".

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