Color is most of the reason I paint. Some days, it's the only reason. Although one of my goals is to learn how to capture and reproduce the colors I see around me, another one of my goals is to make paintings with glorious disregard for the "normal" colors of things. On one hand, I really want to become skilled in recreating what I see. On the other, I have a growing urge to for my work to result in what can be recognized as existing only in the imagination. I want to get off the train before it gets too far into cartoonville. But I do want to ride it past the "that's exactly what it looks like" to where "that's exactly what it feels like". I think color has a lot to do with creating that sensation.
I want my imagination to have ultimate control over what ends up in the painting. I'm thinking now that including imagination in the process is what makes the difference between a painting that just sits there on the surface, and one that lives and breathes on its own—a painting that looks back at you—and says something to you.
Here's another quick color sketch, this one from a photo I took last fall in North Clackamas Park. the actual colors were just shades of green and pale gold, but I wanted to try out a color scheme I found and liked in a John Holland painting. That color combination was really an effect in itself, something that you would never see in real life. The other special thing about this painting was that the value scale created an enhanced sense of airiness and light that particularly coordinated with the colors he used. The end result was an unreal image that came across as an extremely real feeling.
I painted the background and foreground above in separate sessions, and did a bit of correcting in the second session. I have a few more touches I want to add, and I see some correcting I want to do, so I will be working on this one a bit more.
I've also done more work on my ferns, and it may be finished now:
The illusion of water completed itself, and a distant shore and evening sky with clouds developed to add the final touches. It's very rare that these ink paintings turn themselves into landscapes with any illusion of depth, so this one was a pleasant surprise. And in this one I got to explore a wonderful relationship between hues of turquoise and rich red-browns. Mmmmmmm.