How to describe all the pieces and parts that make up a woodland pond in summer – that is the question. The answer? Never fear – just keep layering it in. A Day of Ripple and Shine started with a darker paint layer to suggest the shadows, rolled on with a soft rubber brayer over acrylic gesso priming. A scraper was used to delve into the paint, establishing the white tree trunk reflections on which the composition “hangs.” Days later, I used a palette knife to suggest the green woods and blue skies, then scraped some more for dark lines while adding pencil to describe the smaller branches. Letting the painting dry allowed me to do more layering and scraping, which in turn contributed to the shimmering effect of multiple reflections.
I must confess I had Joan Mitchell on my shoulder while working on the painting. Some of her landscape abstractions, with all their painterly richness, serve to challenge my own interpretation of landscape painting. Willem De Kooning might have been sitting on my other shoulder. Who could ask for more?