Sunday, October 6, 2013

Travelling for a State of Mind

Your work reflects your state of mind. At least that is what I keep telling myself. I wanted to paint in Colorado on my birthday. So my husband and I got in the car and headed there, with my paints in the trunk. Last year we had gone with similar intentions, only for me to end up in Good Samaritan Hospital having a surprise appendectomy. So this year I was determined to paint SOMETHING in Colorado. ANYTHING in Colorado.

My cousin, who is a pastel artist, his sister, and hubby and I all headed out for Garden of the Gods just outside Colorado Springs. My cousin was intent on going there to paint, and we had not been since our honeymoon, over 45 years ago.  The sky was cerulean, the sunlight bright and the breeze, just a tickle. The traffic coupled with the road construction was a nightmare. We got a late start and needed to be back by a certain time, so the window to work was short. The place was so amazing that we could have wasted our time looking for that perfect view, amidst the wondrous choice of views, and I was determined to not do that, given that our time there was so short. My cousin and I set up right there in the parking lot by the visitors’ center, as the rest of our group headed out to explore.
Welcome To The Garden of The Gods
11x14 Oil on prepared board

Immersed in the play of light, the coolness of the cast shadows and the glow of the red rocks, we got to work. Getting down to the painting of it was the foremost thing on my mind, before I lost that delicious glow. Some of the rocks were on fire with light. Just try painting the light play over a rock face to make you realize how fast the light changes. I no sooner got what I thought was a great introduction to the park than all heck broke loose with the sun dancing across surfaces. The light changed as fast as I put down the value notes. Talk about practicing your visual memory! There was no dawdling. Even the light conspired to make us work fast, not just our schedule. It was an exercise in thinking “O gawd, why didn’t I wait for this light effect to paint……it’s so much more beautiful than the one I am doing!” But if you chase the light you are lost. You cannot paint it all. Darn. I wanted to.  Instead I painted “Welcome to the Garden of the Gods”, and vowed to return some day to do it again.
Favorite quote:

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
Andre Gide)