Friday, January 7, 2011

Painted the Grand Canyon yesterday

Grand Twilight, 10X8, oil/linen panel

Hi Everybody,
yesterday I was fortunate enough to take a road trip with fellow painter extraordinaire Bill Cramer. Bill is an extremely talented painter who spends a lot of time outdoors painting on location. So when I had the chance to get back up to the Grand Canyon with him, I jumped at it. Though you would have thought having my plein air butt kicked there last September would have been enough! But I figured, Hey, It's a new year, there's snow on the ground, and well.... it's the Grand Freakin' Canyon. Many thanks to Bill for all the coaching and tips he shared with me about painting the Canyon. Plein air painters joke that painting the Grand Canyon is like getting your graduate degree in location painting. I couldn't agree more. We only had time for a couple of studies. Today in the studio after a good night's sleep, I decided one of them was good only for a color study from which I can do a larger painting down the road. Which is the real reason to do these in the first place. But the second one had possibilities if I did some repainting. So, even though this painting started as a plein air, it is squarely a studio piece.

The painting ended up being set at twilight with the stars just becoming visible. The colors are saturated and the shadows in the canyon are long and deep. It retains the feeling of a plein air because I kept my brush loose. I don't believe it would have improved the painting by tightening it up. What's important to me here is the feeling and mood of the light.

Thanks for looking, Steve


Gary Keimig said...

Great blog and great art Steve. Thios is a very nice plein aire.
Loved the light you captured in the Zion piece. That is such a grand place.

Douglas Clark said...

I really enjoy all the details you give about your paintings. you are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country, your paintings do it justice.