Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on Creating Light

Yesterday we went up to Slide Rock State Park. Slide Rock was an apple orchard back in the 20s and 30s, and although it's an Arizona state park now, it's still run as an orchard. On my last visit a couple of weeks ago, the apple trees were just beginning to bud. I wasn't expecting blooms yet, but I was hoping they would have budded out even more. Alas, but things move slowly in the cold canyon. The trees were still, as one student says, "just sticks."

Still, there's plenty to paint. I've had my eye on the apple-packing barn for some time now. I loved the way the strong, late-winter sun lit up the rusted tin roof. Using a textured surface - stretched linen, rather than a gessoed panel - really worked to help the sunlit effect.

For the lit portion of the roof, I scrubbed in a thinned mixture of Cadmium Yellow Deep and Cadmium Red Light with a touch of Ultramarine Blue. My initial pass was too dark, so I wiped it out with a paper towel, leaving a nice, transparent stain that glowed. I worked my darker mixture, without any thinner, back over this lightly, letting my brush "skip" across the surface. I include a close-up below of the texture.

I've always disliked the texture of canvas and linen, which is why I paint mostly on smooth, gessoed panels. But this is a moment when nothing but linen would have worked!

"Slide Rock Apple Barn"
12x16, oil/linen


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