Friday, November 9, 2012

Unnamed Maze Arch IV


1.75 Unnamed Maze Arch IV. It has been a very long time since I've completed a painting. After I completed the painting of Canyon de Chelly (1.70) I thought that I had reached the next step towards that style that I'm striving towards. However, subsequent efforts were all disappointing, to the extent that 1.73 and 1.74 are both sitting unfinished on the floor. I started the line drawings in an attempt to refocus on simple, effective depictions of the landscape. Even after some enjoyable results from that I still could not get started.
I decided to take a trip to Utah to see if I couldn't rediscover what had motivated me to start all of this 4 years ago. This time, instead of going alone, my best friend came with me. She had never seen Utah except in photographs and paintings. Showing Arches NP to her and watching her discover the feeling of awe and calm while sitting under Sand Dune Arch reminded me of how I felt the first time I saw all of these things. We got up early to hike out to Mesa Arch for sunrise and saw the sky so dark that you could see the Andromeda Galaxy.
After I came back, I decided that I would revisit some of the first paintings that I completed to see how 3 years of experience and change would impact their style. This painting is a recreation of 1.11 . I like the choice of colors in the earlier version best, especially the grey. But I like that the shadows are simplified in the newer version. Also I fibbed a bit in the earlier version, removing a bit of canyon wall seen through the arch. In this version I put it back in and I think that it helps the arch not look like it is floating in the sky, disconnected from any surrounding rock.
I'm going to try to revisit some more earlier paintings to see if I can't find the style I want without the added pressure of interpreting a whole new scene at the same time.

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