Redbud Tree Along the Road
pastel on 140# w/c paper with Golden pumice ground
I started this later in the afternoon, and worked on it for a few hours. If nothing else, it was a good exercise in blocking in shapes and drawing trees. The background? Completely made up, evolving as things went along. The original reference had a house and some other building maybe 50 ft. behind the tree, which wasn't at all what the painting is about, so they had to go.
Simplifying it into a large meadow seems to work to keep the detail on the tree, and even more - its shadow. I'm fascinated by the shadows cast by trees - they are always intriguing abstract shapes that are fun to look at and always a challenge to paint. The road just got extended from a totally uninteresting driveway to something that perhaps leads to...the beach? You, the viewer, get to decide where you go from here.
I used warm, saturated vs. cool, grayed greens to manipulate the sense of distance here - one of the beauties of working in pastel is the scumbling and layering one can employ to obtain such effects.
Tomorrow, the road traveled will be a radical departure from this: we are heading out early morning on an overnight trip in Bluff, UT. Destination: Butler Wash and Cedar Mesa - to spend 2 solid days hiking the area and see a tiny sampling of the hundreds of Anasazi cliff dwellings and rock art panels in the region. One could literally spend a lifetime exploring the area, which is remote and literally off the beaten path. This is a special trip, and I'm hauling my tripod along, which I normally don't do.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to posting on Sunday. Everyone enjoy your weekend!
Last night's sunset; photos taken approximately 3 min. apart: