Inspired by a breathtaking trip to Zion National Park a few years ago.
As I looked through legacy photographs from a few years ago, the big sky and rock formations of Zion National Park leapt out and I found a somewhat wintry subject to focus on in this painting. I recall that within a time frame of a few hours, our March 2009 visit to Zion had a snowy whiteout, some strong winds, and then blistering sun and heat. Amazing skies and light were a given.
I haven’t been looking at Charles Burchfield lately, but sure feel as if I conjured him up with this painting. The hues of the sky and landforms, and the somewhat foreboding trees remind me of his work. I loved working the sky and mountains with subtle changes of hue to distinguish them apart. The foreground land and trees became a study of color layering that only transparent watercolor can do. I painted the foreground with Ultramarine Violet Deep (M. Graham), and allowed it to thoroughly dry before brushing on several layers of a dark green that I mixed from several colors. I was able to get the darkness I wanted without having to resort to black. A one-inch flat brush was used to create allover texture when applying the dark tones. I liked the violet peeking through so much that I allowed it to mix freely with the dark green used on the trees. It gave the painting the atmospheric feel that I was looking for.
I don’t know if I will ever return to Zion, but it is a reminder that there are plenty of other domestic places that I need to visit and experience for the drama of the landscape.
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 21.5″ x 14.25″
Please come see this painting at 440 Gallery, March 13 through April 14, 2019. Info here