A Rest is as Good as a Change
It’s only been three months since the trip to America but in one of those strange quirks of nostalgia I feel like its been an age since actually being there, happily the experiences ideas and the desire to communicate them are vividly bubbling away like a Yellowstone mud pot.

It was only on my return that I realised how tiring the traveling had been. I needed the distance time to rest and reflect in preparation of the work phase. In that short period I can now sense much more clearly how the journey has definitively changed the way I relate to Moran’s paintings. A great example of this was a return visit to the Art Gallery in Bolton to see the ‘Green River’ painting, a couple of weeks after I got back.

"Nearing Camp on the Upper Colorado River" Oil Painting by Thomas Moran Copyright Bolton Museum and Library Services.

“Nearing Camp on the Upper Colorado River” by Thomas Moran Copyright Bolton Museum and Library Services.

Fact Fiction and Truth

It was interesting, a little strange, my love of the work as a beautiful painting and a grand vision has been changed, reconstructed. The painting definitely has elements of exaggeration, flights of the imagination but these combine to convey an image that feels like the reality and truth of the place when looking at the actual landscape. Seeing the painting again there is awe for the actual place, I now know, together with a more nuanced understanding of how Moran was able to transform his original experience. This new relationship felt like a surprise to me but what did I expect? This is what artists do, unlock the door to reality and beauty. It’s something I should bear in mind when approaching my own response to the trip. I will aim for a similar balance between aspects of what I saw, the emotions I felt and the response of my imagination to such varied and dramatic stimuli. These combined facets enabled the experiences I had to be utterly unique and my success will be how fully I can communicate those moments.

So now I shift into the next phase of the project, where the threads are brought together and my own sketches will be explored to form increasingly definitive works of Art.