Thursday, December 8, 2011
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.