A couple of years ago my in-laws moved to McKinney so I got to see this painting quite often and they had hung the painting in a place of prominence in their home. The more I saw the painting the more I came to not like it. In the first place everything is green, from the foreground to the mountains with very little atmospheric rendering. From this view point the mountains are at least five miles away and I painted them as green as if they were two feet in front of the viewer and to be honest, there is nothing green out there.
It comes to pass that we are having dinner one night at my in-laws home and I am staring at this painting while we eat and I think at some point I made the comment that "I can't stand to be in the same room as that painting". I asked if I could give the painting a facelift.
As Mothers Day approached I set to task of fixing the painting and I documented the steps I took doing the fix.
After covering the entire painting in Liquin, I decided to change the sky into a more midday sky instead of late afternoon so I painted in the sky first. This will set the tone for everything that comes next.
In order to kill the green in the mountains I knew I had to introduce a lot of purples and blues into the shadow side of the mountains. The hardest part here was ignoring all of the green.
Next I mixed up a large pile of blueish gray color to cover the green. Then I repainted the peak to suit my new color scheme.
Satisfied that I have properly judged and painted the mountain range, I moved to the foreground leaving the middle ground as an area of transition that I may or may not change depending on how the foreground turns out.
In this close-up you can really see how green my original greens were. YUCK!
Taking some burnt sienna I draw in a design change to the foreground. I decide I want a lead-in that will take the viewer from the foreground toward the mountains and I'm going to do this by putting the left hand side in shadow then I'm going to brighten up the ground and place scrub brush in such a way that I control the viewer's path through the painting.
Also, geologically speaking, there is a valley full of large boulders that you always see in photographs of the Guadalupe Mountains so I have decided to put them into this painting. They were absent in the original version.
This close-up shows my indication of where the boulders are going to go.
The finished painting. I have decided to leave the middle ground as is which is the only section of the painting I did not redo. Below is the original for comparison.
I am glad to report that my mother in-law is thrilled with her new painting and now I can enjoy eating a meal in the same room where the painting hangs.