Thursday, August 7, 2014

Logjam

                                        watermedia on Yupo 26x20"

This was an unusual challenge.
Driving down Mt. Rainier a couple of weeks ago, I could see the road curve over a bridge up ahead. As I crossed it, I glanced upstream to briefly see a massive logjam wedged up into a chasm with a waterfall gushing out the bottom. My view couldn`t have been a whole second, but I knew I had just seen a spectacle, a scene of terrible beauty. The force of that flood dragging all those trees into this impasse must have been truly awesome. This is not the nature I see on my nice walks in the forest. This was brutal and impersonal. Such views are common in Alaska but down here it takes a National Park or somewhere remote to see this kind of evidence of natural violence.
It burned into my memory. Not the facts but the feeling of 'wildness'. That`s what I had to go by, having no recollection of of shapes, colors or scale. In a sense I paint like this all the time. I move paint around until it looks like how the place felt. But I usually have a photo or drawing to help build the scaffold. With this it was just a fleeting glimpse of hundreds of fallen trees straining against the mountain. I began hoping to execute a true watercolor, but quickly saw I would be doing major revisions all along the way so out came the acrylics. It was a battle.


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6 comments:

Maureen said...

This is beautiful, Randall; you've managed to convey the terrible beauty of rushing water below and the stillness of catastrophe-in-the-making.

Libby Fife said...

I'd say for a fleeting glimpse of something that you certainly captured a show of force and vitality. And I liked your observation of moving the paint around "until it looks like how the place felt".

Sheri Trepina said...

Both the painting and the story are moving. Your posts always encourage me to paint....wonderful!

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Spectacular, powerful. The contrasts are unnerving.

Ruth Armitage said...

You may have fought a battle, but you definitely won the war. This painting seems to convey more than the physical fact of the logjam. It expresses something pent-up and edgy. Well done

Jim Carpenter said...

It may have been a battle but you won it. This painting is amazing!