Revisiting the Climbing Rock

TM8270 Revisiting the Climbing Rock 12×12 oil on panel

There are some places that become iconic – the Climbing Rock may well be one of those places for several reasons. The upward thrust of the folded and fractured granite is dynamic. The trees demanding to put down roots are both a gesture of defiance and symbolic of the need to survive. The lichens evidence a (successful) attachment to the rock. And what about us? It is the kind of rock that offers handholds and a wonderful perch on top – ideal for a bit of time away, dreaming, and observing the natural world that sweeps down toward the sea. Enjoy!

Technical painting notes: In contrast to my previous painting of the Climbing Rock (see demo page), this painting started with a textural field of cool, dark red paint with lots of paint thinner drips and blottings. When this layer was dry, I defined the pattern of cracks with dark paint, and used a square-tipped soft brush loaded with thin paint to define the granite planes. I decided a grayer sky matched the mood of contemplation and would contrast nicely with the detail and color in the granite. The trees, too were simplified. The subject is the rock, all else has to play a supporting role.

One thought on “Revisiting the Climbing Rock

  1. Great painting. It is always interesting to see images that are evoked from natural forms like clouds and rocks. The climbing rock looks to me like some primordial beast- a giant granite coelecanth or lungfish rising out of the crust of the earth to draw a breath.

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