Between floating and dreaming, Dear June suspends the sense of gravity for a moment. The painting is based on a visit to my favorite pond on a day filled with breezy cumulus clouds, newly leafed trees, and the air of expectancy that only spring can bring. The pattern of light and shade across the pollen coated-water creates its own poetics, partially obscuring the reflected trees but at the same time enabling the closer leaves of over-hanging trees to gain definition. Details below. Dream on.
Technical painting notes: The painting began with my usual roll-up of dark, thinned, blue-black-green oil paints. While the paint was wet, I wiped and lightened areas, spritzed the surface with solvent, and blotted or re-rolled. My goal was to create a strongly textured surface with gestures of light and dark to simulate the placement of the trees and darker shadows. When the paint layer was dry, I glazed blue tones over it, then started to define the trees reflected against a blue sky. Later in the week, I began to define the sky, using a soft nylon brush to block in the negative shapes of blue or white. When this was dry, I began work on the shadow patterns, glazing them down in value and defining the individual leaves. Additional patches of blue sky were added, along with some floating vegetation. I let the painting rest (and dry) before starting to spatter on shades of gray, blue, and green. The spatter layers softened the edges and suggested the dense effect of heavy pollen on the water. I also began to seriously detail the duckweed, mixing three greens (bright to cool and dark). I used a small nylon flat to paint the individual, four-lobed clusters – brighter in the patches of sun, subdued in the shadows