Saturday, March 29, 2008

And the Stupidity Continues....

"Cloudy Day at Alta Lakes"
Oil on Panel

I swear, I don't know where my brain has gone!!

I painted this painting twice this week. To make a long story short, I ordered the wrong size frame for the first version, and with no time to order a new one, decided to paint the same scene again to fit the frame (I wanted it to go with another painting that it will hang next to in a show). I also did a plein air study of this same scene last summer - let's just say I won't be painting this area again anytime soon!!

Anyhow, this scene was a good example of how painting on location can be such a valuable tool. I don't do as much plein air painting as I'd like to, but spending time outdoors (painting or just soaking up the feel of a place) is a necessity for getting things right in the studio.

This scene was a bit difficult to do from a photo - it was a cloudy day with just a bit of directional light defining the form of the rocks. With the light as it was, my camera made all of the rocks look the same shade of blue, with little variation to show distance, form, or perspective. Luckily, I had done a small plein air study last summer, and remember the feel of the place well since we've been there multiple times. I used the photo as reference for the drawing, and improvised from there.

Still deciding which version I like the best. I'm feeling a bit partial to the original (smaller) painting... (For the record, the smaller painting is closer to the window in this picture, so it looks a lot lighter than the other - in real life, this isn't the case)


  1. Hi Stacey,
    I stumbled upon your blog last night and have to say that you're work is fabulous. I also live near the Rockies in Canada and find them a spiritual place. I just wanted to comment that I think the piece on the left is a little stronger because it seems to have a little more room to "breathe". I especially like the how trees on the mid-left allow for a little more of the vibrant green of the grasses.

  2. Hi Stacey, I'm right around the corner in Littleton. I also found you taking a little "blog hike" a couple of days ago.

    Love your work and I think you really capture the spirit of the surrounding mountain areas.


  3. Hi Stacey. I like the bigger one a little better. Prefer the band of reflected light on the water, the clump of trees on the slope on the right and the shape of the cliff face on the right too. Hey, they are both great, just wanted to throw my two cents at you.
    Nothing wrong with painting it a few times to try different things.
    Best of luck with the whole move thing.
    Oh, and I know where that half of your brain went. That happens when you have kids.

  4. Veronica and Cindy - thanks for stopping by!

    Frank - looks like you and others agree that the bigger one is better, which is good because I just dropped it off for a show! Oh, and you're right about losing your brain when you have kids - it's amazing how it happens...