Above It All

‘Above It All’ acrylic on paper, 210 x 297 mm, 2020. Available (unframed).

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

The very small painting with the really long title

Where shadows grow long at the foot of the mountain, ghost trees shine like gold. Acrylic on canvas, 102 x 102 mm, 2014
Where shadows grow long
at the foot of the mountain,
ghost trees shine like gold.
Acrylic on canvas, 102 x 102 mm, 2014. Sold.

Ghost trees, Arthur’s Pass, original photo, 2013 — Cropped and Photoshopped, 2014 (click to embiggen)
Ghost trees, Arthur’s Pass, original photo, 2013 — Cropped and Photoshopped, 2014 (click to embiggen)

The really long title is also a haiku. I’m thinking it may be the first of a series of mini canvas + haiku combinations.

The painting is based on another phone-camera image edited in Photoshop. Good old Photoshop!

Shoot it, Sketch it: Southern Alps, Oxford

Southern Alps, Oxford – acrylic on canvas, 204 x 204 mm, 2014
Southern Alps, Oxford – acrylic on canvas, 204 x 204 mm, 2014  (SOLD)

Southern Alps, Oxford, original photo, 2012 — Cropped and Photoshopped photo, 2014
Southern Alps, Oxford, original photo, 2012 — Cropped and Photoshopped, 2014 (click to embiggen)

Question: when is a bad, low-res phone photo a good photo? Answer: when it’s the only one you’ve got. After opening my horribly pixelated image in Photoshop, I lightened it a little and messed around with artistic filters until I had something I didn’t object to looking at, printed it, and painted it. The details you would normally expect to see in a ‘good’ photo were slightly blurred and kind of painterly even before I started working on the canvas — which was an unexpected bonus because it meant not having to squint (a time-honoured technique for getting rid of unnecessary details). I really like not having to squint.

Mount Grey

Mount Grey/Maukatere (floating mountain), private commission – acrylic on canvas, 455 x 915 mm, 2014
Mount Grey/Maukatere (floating mountain), private commission – acrylic on canvas, 455 x 915 mm, 2014

This morning’s offering is not my usual Shoot it, Sketch it because I didn’t take the photograph that inspired the painting (which is why I haven’t posted it) ― I did, of course, obtain permission to use the photo for the commission. And as much as I love mountains, this time it’s all about the trig station!

Click on the image twice to see it in more detail.