I have the pleasure of being invited to participate in a show called "Artist of the New Century" being held in June at The Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont. Some of the other artists include Amery Bohling, Stephen Datz, Josh Elliott, Daniel Gerhartz, Logan Hagege, David Hettinger, Qiang Huang, Daniel Keys, Robert Lemler, Jeremy Lipking, Charles Muench, Alexey Steele, Scott Tallman Powers just to name a few. I am extremely proud to be showing with such a group of outstanding artists.
Even though the show isn't until June our images are due now for promotion so I thought I should get to it. I had a painting brewing in my mind since my trip to the Grand Canyon a couple of summers ago. Anyone who paints there knows that a thunderstorm can roll though at any given second and then be gone. It can happen several times a day. So my idea is to paint Moran Point on such a day. Unfortunately I had no photo reference of such a weather pattern on Moran Point and had to rely on photos of Moran Point on a perfectly clear day.
To add to my concept I decided I wanted it to be late afternoon right before the sun goes down. This is where painting on location pays off. During my trip we had such a day with storms rolling in and out all day. I produced two paintings that day between storms so I am using them for my color reference.
Here are my two photo references. I will be using the top photo as my main image. From the second image I will be using the distant canyons and horizon line.
Here's my initial block in. I apologize for the glare on the right side. Painting famous landscape structures like Moran Point or the Teton Mountains is a lot like doing a portrait. If you get the main structures wrong there will be plenty of critiques to let you know just how bad your painting is because you have a bolder out of place. So I decided to paint the corner first with as much attention to detail as possible, then from there on it is just my general feeling of how I want the rest of the painting to feel. Plus if I don't get this right I can wipe it off and do something else without a great deal of lost time. Plus I had to stop to go out of town for a few days.
Detail of brushwork. The gloss is from the Liquin I covered the painting in to start the next phase.
Satisfied with the main structure I move on to the background and painting the storm.
"Storm Over Moran Point" 24" x30" oil/linen
And here's the finished painting, storm and all.