Looking Up

TM8584 Looking Up 36x30 oil on panel

TM8584 Looking Up 36×30 oil on panel

Obstacles are plentiful on any trail. It might be the weather, or the terrain,  or the obstacles we find in ourselves. And there will  never be a shortage. I think that is why I paint so many views that present a beautiful, though intimidating, wall. Since obstacles rarely go away, it becomes necessary to embrace them, to find some source of fascination in them. And to find a way to, if not exactly enjoy them, at least deal with them. And besides, from this vantage, who knows what might be on the other side? Details below. Enjoy.

TM8584 Looking Up - detail with tree tops

TM8584 Looking Up – detail with tree tops

TM8584 Looking Up - close-up of stony rise with moss-covered stones and aging granite

TM8584 Looking Up – close-up of stony rise with moss-covered stones and aging granite

Technical painting notes: As usual, I used a soft rubber roller to apply a loose coat of oil paint to the panel, using a mixture of mostly umbers and blues, plus a touch of burnt sienna. While wet, the paint was manipulated with solvents and paper towels to create strong gestures evocative of the trees and old mountain. Solvents were dripped and blotted to add more textures. When the layer was dry, I glazed the panel then started painting the sky and the negative shapes between the trees. I used an old, splayed brush to dab paint on the rocks, suggesting moss or lichens, depending on color. Repeated layers of glaze and fine detail brought the image into focus. I especially wanted to show the various color bands in the rock, with some layers containing more iron (red). My goal was to achieve some specificity in the details, but maintain a strong unifying tone and feeling of lift.

TM8584 Looking Up - detail from upper left

TM8584 Looking Up – detail from upper left

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