A new painting ~ snow on the mountains ~ photographed in spring (somewhere near Arthur’s Pass) and painted in summer. The biggest challenge was finding the right colour for the sunlight on top of the hill. I initially painted it quite a cool, light yellow and also dabbed a little on the snow ~ because that was what I saw ~ but it wasn’t what I wanted to say. This is where summer and winter meet and I wanted contrast just as much as I wanted harmony. So I changed it for a warmer, richer yellow. Much better.
“A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.” Mark Rothko
☁️☁️☁️ When I started painting this a couple of weeks ago, the days were indeed grey grey grey and the branches of the plum tree outside my studio (the view that inspired the background of the painting) were bare bare bare. But after a couple of unseasonably warm days (warm, that is, for August in Christchurch), an explosion of little pink blossoms reminds me that spring is mere days away. Sun sun sun, here it comes. ⛅🌤☀️
Painting this little canvas was a joy. I had some paint left over from a project and didn’t want it to go to waste. I’m so happy with the colours that I’m thinking of painting a much larger version. No varnish for this one. I don’t want to change a thing.
“Your ability to see is your tools of trade; nothing else matters. Beautiful seeing is the desideratum. Remember, when you hear people say they can see a thing but not do it that they cannot really see it. If they did, they could do it even if they put the paint on with their fingers.” Charles Hawthorne
I’ve posted this quote before. It’s one that stays with me. I often find myself thinking “if I could really see this, I could put the paint on with my fingers”. But what if the thing you want to paint is the abstract impression of a favourite song? What if the thing you are “seeing” is a feeling, an impression, something in your mind’s eye?
I had one of my favourite songs playing in my head when I painted these little abstracts. I imagined being in the mountains just before dawn as the birds were beginning to wake up. You may see something completely different. Make of them what you will. I see the colours of early morning and mountains in the clouds. And I hear music… Birds by Lisa Crawley.