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Friday, June 18, 2010

100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #46/#47

#46 - "Indian Flats"
Original Oil 6x8"
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10/06/05 (3pm)
It had been raining all day and finally in the late afternoon it started to clear up so I headed for this field which is about a 5 minute walk from my studio. I was captivated by the spring greens against the violet mountain in this setting and thought it was finished out there (it should have been), but I tweaked myself in circles with it back at the studio, right up until this evening. Not sure why, just couldn't leave it alone, wasn't making it better, just changing it. Sometimes I think we take our own unsettled selves out on our paintings, thinking if we can fix the painting it will somehow fix our state of mind. Would be very useful to keep these things separate...

#47 - "Storm Window"
Original Oil 6x8"

10/06/05 (8pm)
This was painted in exactly the same spot as #46, I just turned 180 degrees. There is a quality of light in the mountains when the sun comes out after a storm - especially in the evening - that I haven't seen anywhere else. The clarity of light is beyond crystal clear, the air has been cleansed of dust particles and the moisture evaporates almost immediately, making mountains miles away feel like they are towering over you. I wish I had time to do 5 paintings in a row here to begin to get to the essence of that drama.


  1. "Beyond crystal clear" -- a perfect word picture and a stunning painting.

  2. I have a cyclist friend who often says to me when we ride, "OK, now turn around and ride the other direction and we'll see a whole new view". It is so true of painting as well. What a treat to get to see both sides! And they are both lovely.

    Is this is the Bow River basin? It would be really neat if you could put up a map with little pins as to where you were standing for each painting. I have added Banff and surroundings to my list of "must paint" places, because of your series.

  3. Love the abstract lines of this. That bold gold/green band at the bottom, the crisp white above the mountain and that great swipe of dark in the middle really make it so dynamic. Would love to see this one really large!