Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Weather Series - Painting HEAT

Unlike a storm scene as portrayed in the featured painting, Foothill Storm, HEAT never feels expansive to me. Perhaps like the various desert dwellers of the world, I feel the need to seek shelter from the sun and the heat it carries. (Did you know that in most countries where desert heat and lack of water typifies their landscape darkness and shadow are not metaphors for evil, etc., but rather for shelter?)

I digress. I've struggled with how to convey a sense of heat in a painting. My brain was stuck on "scene", and I just couldn't come up with one that worked for me. Finally, I put it out of my mind; and as usual, that gave the Muse of the Universe room to work. We've had at least two weeks of terrible, horrible, awful heat, giving me the feel of what I've been searching to find. Then, my ongoing health issues were caused to flare by the unremitting heat, causing me to stay in and find time to paint. Then, while sorting through old photos of New Mexico to show a friend, I stumbled upon some I'd taken of cattle including a massive bull resting alone. I already had a photo from here with the long shadows cast by an off-stage old oak. All of this caused me to pull my vision in for a more close up view, giving me the image I wanted:

I've also been playing a bit with underpainting that is unrelated to the scene itself. I elected to do a Fibonacci series of bands of shades of browns running top to bottom and left to right. The bands don't show in the final painting, yet they somehow give some extra dimension and depth to the watercolor. I stuck with a very limited palette to maintain the washed-out feel that summer brings to our part of the world.

So, he's called Resting in Shadow. At 12 X 16 inches, not a large painting. Watercolor on paper. Priced at $200.

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