Friday, May 9, 2008
'Arcola Spring' - pastel - 8x16 - field study
You might be saying, "Spring!?". That's what I thought, so I thought some more. My first thought was "Am I color blind?"..."This looks like fall, not spring???" If I have any faith in what I do it's that I can mix the colors that I see in front of me, with some creative input that is. But these colors look like fall no matter how many excuses I come up with. However, my faith in mixing color holds because while painting this one, any color with a hint of green in it jumped out at me screaming, "NO!". So I let the faith in my color recognition abilities override what the pre-conceptive area of my brain was telling me and painted what I saw, not what I thought. The result is a spring painting that isn't your 'typical' spring color scheme.
But I'm still wondering why the color is so warm in the new spring growth. Does it matter to a visual artist? No, it doesn't have to. It is important to me however. And I think it is because I come from many years of being an amateur naturalist and painting works that required the co-ordination of flora, fauna and seasons. My thought here is that the maples (swamp maples I think) are flooded and have been for several weeks. They are growing on islands in the middle of the St. Croix River and they regularly have to deal with high water for a short period of time. It doesn't look likely that they'll be on dry ground for a couple of weeks to come yet. It might be that they are not getting the mineral and other nutrient content from the soil that they ordinarily would, and like your houseplants (at least mine), if overwatered....the leaves will yellow. In a normal year, when the high water has receded earlier, the leaves of these maples at this stage are not as warm, are more 'limey' green.
Okay, enough natural history for today. Thanks for looking in.