Friday, December 11, 2015


Original Oil Painting on a 14x7 inch canvas panel.

In this painting I wanted to keep brush strokes loose and impressionistic. I wanted to show to my emotional reaction to the interplay of colors, values and lighting in this scene. The balance of warm and cool colors, and the contrast of light and dark values.

In the process I wanted to suggest things in the scene rather than be too specific. This leaves something to a viewer’s imagination and allows him or her to find their own story in the painting. It gives the picture a sense of mystery. It may trigger a wonderful memory or suggest someplace the viewer has always wanted to visit. If I included too many specific details that possibility would be lost.

This painting was also an example of how I like to paint for what I consider to be two key viewing distances. The first viewing distance to consider is how the painting appears from across a room, and the second viewing distance to consider is how the painting appears during a nearby examination.

From a far distance this piece has wall power, which results from the way large shapes of color and value are contrasted with each other. It grabs the eye from across the room. That’s important, but it’s also important to provide another level of enjoyment when the painting is viewed up close.

When viewed up close this painting has an almost abstract feeling. Big, juicy strokes of color create interesting surface texture on the canvas. And they suggest elements of the scene while leaving something to a viewer’s imagination. This makes it exciting to come back again and again to study what is going on in the painting.

The thumbnail image of this picture shows how it appears from a far distance. The detail image below shows how it looks when examined closely from a nearby distance. I hope you enjoy this painting as much as I enjoyed painting it.

I thought it would be interesting to show a photo of the scene as the camera saw it, for comparison with my interpretation of the scene. I often get emails from other artists who tell me they appreciate that because it gives them a “glimpse behind the scenes” and allows them to see how I handled various parts of the picture. Enjoy!

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