I am struggling mightily with the iconic scene of the Pine Creek Gorge — those scenes looking south down the Creek, either from the west side (Colton Point, mostly) or the east side (Leonard Harrison Park).
The mountains are oddly flat on top, and do their gentle sloping dance to the creek, folding into one another. Some of my painted drafts look a bit, well, I’d say Freudian, if that didn’t date me. Let’s just say that there’s a certain nubile quality:
Pine Creek Gorge from Colton Point (2), 12 x 16, oil on board
This is one I may abandon, but given full disclosure laws, I thought I had to show it first.
Then there’s the problem of the greens. Not only do we have those intertwined folds, but they are all versions of green. And not only do the laws of aerial perspective dictate that the further the object, the dimmer and bluer it becomes, but the laws of molding and folding dictate that the ravines are dark (but further away) whereas the rims of the hills, although closer and therefore presumably more saturated in color, are lighter because the light is hitting them. Contradictions like these make my hair thinner. Or as my daughter, grandchild, and I have whined at various times: “It shouldn’t be so hard to paint what you are looking at, should it?
Pine Creek Gorge from Colton Point (1), 12 x 16, oil on board
Last evening, in a fit of despair, I decided to change directions entirely and to work a board on which I had done some underpainting, painting that had something besides greens and something besides mountains. Charlie (Bierly, the photographer many of whose photos I’ve been using) had photographed a duck in flight — he’ll have to explain how he did it. I am enthralled with the photo, and so had prepared a board to play with that image. The duck wasn’t green and not much of the water out of which it is rising is green either. So here’s draft one of Duck in Flight:
Duck in Flight (Pine Creek Series), oil on board, 12 x 16
Ahhhh, it looks pretty good and it’s only a first draft. –June