Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wetlands Somewhere


This began as my demonstration painting for the last class I did at the Lakewood Center. I wanted to show how the sky and clouds in particular could be used 'architecturally' to emphasize the subject in one`s painting. The Swiss painter,Ferdinand Hodler, did this routinely to the heighten the emotional impact of his landscapes. It`s a simple thing and is almost always credible.
So in short order I had this handsome cloud and then made some thick random swipes of paint at the bottom which I moved around with a squeegee. When the sky itself is the subject, it just needs to be anchored.
When I brought the painting home, I was in love with my cloud. Since I have been painting the autumn wetlands of late, I thought I could incorporate that subject with this sky. That proved tricky. My live-in meteorologist/art critic said 'those kind of clouds are really rare in [western] Oregon, especially in the fall'. This added to the confusion as I tried to meld the busy chaos of a marsh with a soaring cumulus cloud. This may not survive, it`s against all the rules of painting to 'save' things, the whole should always be in play. It usually is for me but this time I 'defended' a cloud.

10 comments:

Cynthia Schelzig said...

I was getting ready to turn my computer off here...as it is 11:30 and I need my beauty rest and then ...pow,,,this popped up. Fabulous cloud!! I know the weather man may know what he is talking about but...ooooo this is a wonderful cloud. Then I had to look at what I missed the past week or so....ohhh the trees do talk don´t they. Have a good weekend.

Maureen said...

I best like what is "against all rules". As with painting, so with writing poetry in form. I just finished a villanelle, scheduled for next week, that refused to obey the strictness of repeating exactly the repeating line. The poem's the better for it. No more talk of "this may not survive".

kingfisher said...

I agree with Maureen -- no more talk of "this may not survive". It may be an improbable cloud, but this is a beautiful, evocative painting. Somewhere, if not in the Northwest, there must be such clouds and such grasses. If not, well, there should be! (Even if only to express the mood of a painter's mind!)

kate said...

Whamo! This just caught me so by surprise that I let out an involuntary
"Oooo! OH! WOW!" I don't really care where that cloud appears or doesn't appear, I'm in love with it. It appears in your painting and now in my imagination. Yes!

Jala Pfaff said...

Wow! Fabulous color.

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Maybe with climate change these clouds will appear here in the future and you will be lauded as a prophet! Having just completed two cloudscapes that don't work, I am in awe of yours, which is so successful.

David Page Coffin said...

Gorgeous!

jennifer woodburn said...

Defend away - this is a spectacular painting - keep your cloud as it is!

Cathy said...

I love it! Whether it is not coherent with this season in that particular aerea is totally irrelevant to me, French living in South Africa, I wouldn't know what is coherent or not in Oregon. Defend your cloud, man! Who cares about rules?

S Farrar said...

When the "weatherman"says it can't happen, say"so what? It's still beautiful." (Actually, I think it is glorious.")