Arboreal Reflections #5 is a continuation of the Arboreal Reflections series. The paintings are based on observing the reflections of dense woodland as it merges into the swamp and pond at Hamlen Woods. Each painting in the series delves deeper into the reflections, and into the grasses growing in the shallows. All of the paintings negotiate the intersection of memory with fact, but I’ve increasingly tried to preserve the abstract textures and accidents of the underpainting, to keep the sense of surprise this imparts to the final painting. Arboreal Reflections #5 is full of these surprises, especially when you look closely at the details below. My goal is to present the feel of a pond in the wood with all its complexity. I hope you can smell the pine needles. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes:
The painting employs a range of greens, with a variety of cool and warm tones from the red side of the palette to create a harmonious contrast. I used burnt sienna, red oxide, and dioxazine violet for the reds; gold ochre, indian yellow, zinc yellow and raw sienna for my yellows.
The layers of spatter, sometimes on the dry surface, sometimes into a wet glaze, created a subtle, almost dusty effect on the surface of my pond.
I considered a blue sky, but decided an overcast gray would best set off the greens by introducing more neutral tones into the painting. The indian yellow, which is more strident, added a sunny note.
I layered the spatters, sometimes blotting the mineral spirits, at other times mixing color and Liquin with mineral spirits for colored dots.