Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter's Light on the Mesa

Next in the Impressions of Winter series is this painting, depicting more juxtaposition of light and shadow on the land via the nearby hill and distal mesa.

Winter's Light upon the Mesa
9x12 - oil on board

Plenty of challenges in this painting, including trying to suggest groups of pinyon/juniper on the distal sun-covered slopes.  Not easy, especially working wet-in-wet.  And using very slight value shifts to give convincing depth to the foreground.  I'm not sure if it reads well to viewers, actually, or is just plain bizarre.  It was still enjoyable to paint, despite the frustrations of those distal greens...


  1. The light is different this time of year. I notice it here in Oregon, even when it's cloudy which it is most of the time!

  2. The change in light is quite profound between winter and even spring or fall, and I find its effect on the landscape to be fascinating. It was more extreme when I lived in CT, but at the higher latitude, the sun was at an even lower angle in the winter than here in southern CO.

  3. Difficult to paint I am sure however you pulled it off well, consider the reverse here: your foreground is blue (traditionally a color of distance) and the background holds gold (traditionally a pull color for foreground)! Nice challenge...I'm a believer.

  4. Somehow you got the unity to work (I mean, it works very well, but I can't detect why) and the bigger size of the elements in the foreground read as close.

    You are a wwonderful artist.

  5. Thanks, Cindy! I hadn't thought about it, but you are right about the role reversal, if you will, of the rules of atmospheric perspective. I'm glad you think it works :).

    Casey, thank you as always for your thoughtful comments. I had to laugh at your comment, because I've had those thoughts before: "it works but I don't know why". Earlier in the process, it was decidedly *not* working, and I kept tweaking small things until I *thought* it worked. But, after staring at something for a while, your ability to look at it objectively diminishes...a frustrating thing, to be sure.

    I don't specifically solicit critiques here on the blog (although I value peer critiques immensely), but if y'all had said: "What in the world is going on with that? Just bin it!", I would have laughed...and it probably would have gone onto the "reclaim" stack.


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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