Sunday, July 18, 2010

Red Sky, Blue Planet

Mystery Of Water
Ink & Colored Pencil  22x30  $550

At last—a new painting! It feels good to finish one again. It's an ink painting, one I saw an image of in my mind before I started planning it. I let the idea settle for a couple of days, before I laid down the first layer of color on paper. After the first layer dried, I did a second layer to create the dark blue textures. It took several days for that layer to dry, before I could do the finishing work with colored pencils.

I had a new challenge in this one. I wanted to develop the foreground textures enough to be interesting, but I didn't want them to distract from the drama of the simplified background. It took me a few days to decide how much interest was enough. It's a personal choice, and at first I wasn't happy with having to make a choice at all, between doing what I've been doing lately—making the most of every possible detail—and directing all the strength to the main theme—the contrast between the landscape and the sky.

I used to joke about paintings that depend on having a spectrum of colors for their impact, and now I've made one that has little else. That's what comes of poking fun, I guess; the turkey comes home to roost.

What does it mean, The Mystery Of Water? Water connects us to every life form on the Earth. The storm in the sky is water, the lake and the river are water. Trees, grass, birds, bugs, humans—we are all made of water.