Deep November began its life (in October) as a lively pondscape with strong contrasts and lots of leaves falling into the water – but it didn’t stay that way. As I worked on the painting into November, the quieter, darker mood of the month crept up on me. I saw the pond “buttoning up” for the winter. The colors of the reflections were tinged with gray and even black. It was a landscape Mark Rothko would have appreciated. It seemed only fitting to rework the painting and pay homage to Rothko. I eased the transition between colors and emphasized the blocks of color that remained. The narrow, yellow band of floating detritus echoes the demarcations in classic Rothko paintings. Pine needles replaced most of the fallen leaves – a quieter gesture. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: When I realized I wanted to totally change the feel of the painting, I used a soft rubber roller and translucent dark gray oil paint to roll gray onto (most) of the painting’s surface, leaving the darks near the top alone. I used a silicone scraper to make staccato marks into the wet surface, then used a fine brush to add pine needles and hints of brighter reds. When this layer was dry, I used a plastic bag to spread a translucent, blue-black, streaky layer across most of the painting. Again, I sscraped into the wet paint and added more staccato dashed to keep the surface interesting but still quiet overall. Some drips and spatters of paint added dimension. When dry, I reinforced the lights and added red to violet glazes. Additional needles, a dark selective glaze to deepen the darks, and a few touches of pale gray completed the painting.