In the past few months I've been doing what I think of as my "serious work." My serious work is concentrating on a body of work-- creating paintings that are all related to one another based on a central idea. Often the series will go on for several years.
As I was looking through my photos, one that I've thought of painting came to the forefront. In 2020, just before Covid shut down the world, Mike and I were on vacation in Costa Rica where I took this picture. This photo has stuck in my brain for the last 3 years as having the potential for an interesting painting.
What I love about this is the large bovine sitting next to a cement water catcher. But what could I do with all that grassy hill? That is just not my sort of pleasurable painting.
Two artists I've admired over the years came to mind. These two women, one now dead and the other in her late 80's, found ways to make landscapes much more exciting than just a green hill. Their work is powerful enough to stay in one's brain for years.
Mary Carlton's landscape
And so a three day break from "serious work" began and the meshing of ideas #1 and #2.
Because I enjoy working with collage materials, my first step was opening up my collage containers. I sorted through these papers, searching for matching colors. My hope was to find enough golds, grays and olive greens to create the long stretch of ground I envisioned.
Breaking up the big space in interesting, somewhat geographical ways was a challenge. I used watercolor along with collage pieces to quilt together the landscape.
The final step was to paint the building and the cow. Once that was done, I used dark line work for 2 reasons. I felt that joining the pieces together with lines, helped create a fields and farming feel to the painting. Also the dark lines help connect the darks used in the top of the painting to the rest of the piece.
|Beneath the Cow|
22 x 15
Workshop coming up! I will be teaching a watercolor class, "Adding Texture" on May 5,6,7 in McMinnville, OR at the Currents Gallery. The space is limited, so signup early by calling 503-435-1316.