Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Cottonwood Trail-Colorado", 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

"Cottonwood Trail-Colorado", 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

In contrast to yesterday's rather somber Scandinavian palette, this painting reflects my joy for all scenes autumnal. Maybe it's that I was born in October, or maybe it's because I adore color- whatever it is, I just love painting autumn landscapes because it allows me to really push the colors:0)

I painted this two years ago in October after returning from a trip out west after one of my paintings was juried into The American Impressionist Society's show at the Saks Gallery in Denver. We took some extra time on the trip to enjoy the beautiful Western scenery, and one of the high points of the trip was visiting Rio Grande country.

I have always been a little intimidated about painting mountains, because it's not scenery that I grew up with being from the east coast. So in this painting, i decided to just have fun pushing the colors and not worry too much about defining the mountains perfectly. I used some of what I learned from Edgar Payne's book on composition to play around with the scene to create a more pleasing composition, adding complimentary colors on the right and extending the trail to eliminate the boring empty road space in the lower right hand quadrant.

I wanted to push the warmness of the scene and I think the painting ended up having a happy feel to it, with warm lights and cool shadows.

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