The recent opening of the duet exhibition Rocks and Raku at the Laffer Gallery in Saratoga Springs, New York has reignited my passion for stones, rocks, and granite. I couldn’t wait to work up some little landscapes. I also was curious to see how my work on the cosmos series and the water paintings would affect the new landscapes. Well, the results are coming in, and I present to you the first two new paintings from the northern landscape. Both are concerned with light – late afternoon and early evening. Both paintings are also loosely based on memories of hiking on Campobello Island and in the Adirondacks. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: Both paintings started with a dark brown layer of thin oil paint, from which I blotted the primary shapes with paper towels, wiped out the sky, and then added texture with dripped and blotted mineral spirits. I also used crumpled plastic to press textures into the thin paint. This initial layer was allowed to dry, and was followed by transparent glazes. When the glazes were dry, I glazed the rocks again, and started painting into the wet glaze with thin paint to define the light on the rocks. Further layers of glaze were followed by delicate development of the seams in the rocks, then the evergreens. The sky was painted (a fan brush was used to blend three strips of color), then the juncture of trees and sky was refined. It was important to let much of the original texture show through the thin layers of paint, enhancing the coarse feel of rock.