Size: 21"W x 14"H x 0.1"D
Year Created: 2017
The cottonwoods and willows along the shore of the Rio Grande. The bosque creates a lush environment in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau. I saw the river with the trees as a living impressionist painting. A lush environment in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.
This is the latest in a small series I am doing around the Rio Grande river. Another series of watercolors working to achieve a minimalist feel. A fun way to bust loose and explore with watercolors using quick strokes with a Japanese writing brush on rough watercolor paper 21" x 14" image size, unframed
The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site.
Open skies, storms coming in, sweeping vistas, mountains and grasslands all call for broad strokes and bold light and shadows. I strive for an economy of color and execution that can bring a landscape to life. If I can capture the shadows, forms, space at a given moment with the flow of line and color, then I can start to feel that I have succeeded. Working in such a quick, expressive manner can be like playing a jazz riff, improvising with the moment. I start with the basic composition, placing elements as needed, some planning on where I want light and shadow. Then I throw away the sketch, the photograph, look away from the reality and let the paint, the brush and the water flow.
I love working quickly using a calligraphy brush on rough paper, going for the zen of the moment. I keep the colors pure while at the same time letting the paper do the work; looking for happy accidents that I can exploit. Many times I will take a scene and modify the composition to minimalize the basic elements to maintain a deceptively simple beauty. The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. I am always looking for new views and experiences. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site. Many times I will remember scenes and sketch from memory while I have an idle moment. My work draws from the forms, colors and experiences of the desert Southwest; an enjoyment in the act of painting expressing a simpler, more casual approach to life.