April’s Reflections

TM9526 April’s Reflections 36×48 oil on panel

April brings crystal clear water back to the pond, and a few pine and deciduous trees are boldly mirrored in the water. They haven’t seen themselves in a long time. I can’t help wondering what it would feel like to see oneself for the first time after the harshness of winter. So many broken limbs! What I see are survivors, and the possibility of regrowth and repair, all framed by blue skies and a couple of soft white clouds. There is a slight breeze riffling the water, and the air is filled with promise. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9526 April’s Reflections – detail from left with deciduous tree and cloud reflection
TM9526 April’s Reflections – detail from right side with a breeze riffling the water
TM9526 April’s Reflections – detail from center right
TM9526 April’s Reflections – detail from left side with pine and birch reflections

Technical painting notes: I treated the blank, primed panel like a monoprint plate, rolling thinned oil paint on the surface then manipulating it with solvent, scrapers, paper towels, and assorted “texturizers.” The goal was to achieve rich darks and a range of textures that could “show through” the later layers of paint and glaze. When this first layer was dry, I proceeded to refine the gestures and forms with brushwork, thinking of the sky as negative space to be painted, revealing the forms of the trees. I also used soft nylon brushes to delineate some of the branches. Some branches were revealed through scraping out their forms. After substantially defining all the forms and establishing values and color, I used fairly transparent rolls of oil paint (applied with a soft rubber roller) to unify and soften the feel of the scene, using the roller and short brush strokes to describe the riffles on the water.

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