Mountains or Molehills
It’s strange how the passage of a day or so can bring clarity to what seems like a conflict demanding an immediate solution. I can see now that there is no conflict, I’ve just been giving myself different opportunities, trying a few different approaches. In all the examples posted so far I have moved away from how I would normally paint, to varying degrees, so I am sure that this has induced a little creative disorientation. Having said that, it is really interesting to me how much the last couple of weeks has taught me about what I’ve been doing for the last fifteen years. Almost as though a few steps away from the usual path enable me to see more clearly what that path is where it comes from and where it is going.
In using the work of Moran as such a pivotal inspiration for the project I know this is also complicating these early stages. Another important discovery I’ve made is that Moran had certain constraints on his mission. He needed to make others aware of what this Landscape looked like. I am relatively free of such a task and the full realisation of this freedom is truly exhilarating. This stage has reaffirmed that I need to leave room for the paint to surprise me, rather than making efforts to coerce its potential into obvious depictions.
Paintings such as this one, of an outcrop and pool in the Teton foothills(above), seem to be an example of what I’d have hoped for. It’s a distillation of a common scene in the Tetons but as with most of these pieces I think the mountain’s presence is implied, with the viewer invited to travel from what is in the image and realise their own sense of what other things are suggested.
I’ll be carrying on with sketchbook work of Tetons and have a couple of paintings to finish but now the enticing challenges of the Canyon beckon. Just as in our trip the Tetons have provided a perfect acclimatisation to the wonders of Yellowstone.