Pixie Dust

TM8523 Pixie Dust 36x48 oil on panel

TM8523 Pixie Dust 36×48 oil on panel

It was a June morning at the pond, studying the overhanging branches and tree reflections. A daunting perspective, with the feel of plunging down while at the same time seeing sky and trees overhead. As the painting evolved at the studio, I realized that the subject was also the copious pollen that covers everything in June, plus the scattered red and pink buds from the trees that have finished flowering. The effect can be quite magical, hence the name Pixie Dust. Details below.

TM8523 Pixie Dust - detail from upper left with floating pollen, duckweed, and fallen tree buds, reflected trees

TM8523 Pixie Dust – detail from upper left of center with floating pollen, duckweed, and fallen tree buds, reflected trees

TM8523 Pixie Dust - detail from top of painting

TM8523 Pixie Dust – detail from top of painting

TM8523 Pixie Dust - detail from lower right

TM8523 Pixie Dust – detail from lower right

Technical painting notes: the painting began with a fairly dark and textural underlayer – basically a play of lights and darks using thinned oil paints. The tree reflections and sky were developed in considerable detail with layered glazes and some semi-opaque direct painting. The real fun began when I started spattering some green pollen over the surface, followed by reddish lavender tones for contrast. I interspersed the spatter work with dots of duckweed clusters, then spattered blue to suggest the way light catches in the interstices of the pollen and duckweed. The spattering helped to unify the surface while suggesting the density of “stuff” that floats on the pond in late June. Touches of additional glazing helped to deepen the shadowy depths of the overhanging tree reflections.

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