Sunday, May 16, 2010

Palouse Painting

I spent an evening in the Palouse, south of Spokane, WA, back in the fall. I loved it. This photo captured some of the feel of the valleys and small canyons that show up between the long hills. It also reminds me how the light was at the end of the day, though the camera doesn't do it justice.

This piece of paper has already been three other things, and has been painted over several times. It has a history, and some texture as a result, and colors that show under the others, particularly the cadmium orange.


I am finding my way with this painting, trying various colors as underpainting, and painting some areas over and over. I am on completely unfamiliar ground, trying to see what colors and approaches work for this piece, and for the mood I am trying to capture. So here it is in three stages.


I'm not sure any of the colors showing now will be the colors showing at the end. It's far too disjointed and garish right now, but these colors are just the extremes that will vibrate through and under the final colors.

I'm trying to figure out how I want to put the paint on, as well. This is far smoother than canvas, and has a different feel. The direction of every brush stroke matters, and I get it right sometimes and other times I have no idea how I should apply it.

It's good to be lost but not so lost I can't find my way eventually.

9 comments:

Lisa said...

I LOVE seeing your paintings in stages. I expect it will be both whimsical and beautiful when you're through.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Damn! I just typed a long comment that refused to see its way here. :-(

I found so fascinating that the small canyons came much more to my senses in your painting, rather than the photograph. I loved that little bit. Loved the whole post. :-)

Gina

Steve Emery said...

Ladies, Thanks for the posts, and for the enthusiasm for these images. I'm quite lost, though, and getting only flickers of what I want in this painting, like a message coming in through heavy static. But that's the point.

Listening to the Decembrists - Cranewife... The long piece, The Crane Wife 1 & 2.

怡谷ShanikaMaxey怡谷 said...
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susan said...

This is a wonderful painting even if you stop right now. You manage to achieve impressions of landscapes with colors and forms whose shades and design elements would never occur to me. It's a beauty.

We can't find our way home until we're willing to admit to ourselves we've been lost.

linda said...

i wanted to ask you what are you painting on?

linda said...

i adore how you used color in this to feel the temperature and time of day, it's very palpable and frankly, i think i would not change nary a thing... however i am not the artist ;) my favorite part is the mailboxes, in colors you would NEVER expect, a happy surprise to find one's mailbox looking like that at the end of a long tedious day!!
x

Steve Emery said...

Susan - thanks! Parts of it do what I want - other parts don't yet. Working on those, and looking at other landscapes to see how it could be done, is the point on this one...

Linda - thanks! I am painting on the usual 140 pound Arches hot press (smoooooth!) - they all start as watercolors, even if they eventually end up all covered with acrylics. Artist tape around all four sides so I get a nice neat edge later, and I don't have to worry or think about the border in the meantime. I just watch the edge for composition, not neatness.

the GyPsY said...

I like the way you're painting and underpainting and creating the mood as you go along.