I spent the first good day of summer here in Utah hiking and sightseeing with Rhonda out on Antelope Island. Antelope Island is part of the Utah State parks system, it is known for its wildlife. We saw lots of antelope, waterfowl, a couple of hundred buffalo and a lone coyote. The most numerous wildlife we encountered were the no see um biting gnats. They were in our ears and hair withing minutes of our arrival. I was glad we had purchase nets to put over our heads and some insect repellent for our exposed skin. I would not have enjoyed our visit nearly as much and we might have had to cut it short. I was reminded of Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen when the flies were eating he and Katherine Hepburn alive. I was grateful that we were only hiking and photographing on this trip. I am afraid I would have given up painting before I even got started….. there is nothing quite like an oil painting filled with dying insects.
I saw some interesting orange flowers, scarlet globe mallow, blooming in the midst of the sea of purplish-green June grass surrounding the trail. There were scattered sage brush and boulders punctuating the scene so I decided to work those ideas into a painting. ….which is what I am working on now. I have spent a few hours with this painting and I am still struggling with the color and the texture. The color scheme is a secondary triad of orange, violet and green. This is a color scheme I have rarely used particularly when no single color is dominant. The textural feel I am building with the strokes of the palette or painting knife have an interesting movement from the bottom of the meadow shape up to the boulder shapes. I hope to have this painting completed soon. I will post the completed painting along with the in progress view I have included here.
The completed version shows more development of the value and texture in the foreground I have included a detail of the knife work below. Based on the completed version shown above I have invested in several new painting knives, including some fairly large tools that could be sued to flip a burger or a small pancake. I am excited to try them so check back soon and see the resulting experiment. The image I selected to try out my big new knives is an east coast view from my trip to Cozumel. You may now purchase prints and cards of some of my painting s at Fine Art America .