Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This is a commission that I was lucky enough to paint for my friend, Debbie, and her husband. We talked ahead of time about doing a painting from one of their vacation photos, so they were very aware that every photo they took was a potential painting.
We looked them all over, one afternoon, and I was impressed with their compositions and choices. Made the job of picking just one very hard, so I have some future painting commissions planned, too!
While they were at Yellowstone, there were fires burning that created a more smoky backdrop than they would have liked, so I used some artistic license to intensify the values and color saturation of the sky and mountains. I still kept some of the atmosphere so that it had the feeling of moisture, otherwise the grasses in the front would start feeling like straw, in my opinion.
I also, eventually, decided to make the background trees darker on the right, so that there was a feeling of cohesion along that plane. The grasses went back and forth, but I finally got the feeling I was going for, soft and flowy- yet a dog's fur.
I know that everyone's eye goes first to the reflections, so I felt like I could have some license to play and stay loose with the foreground. If I had to pick a favorite part, for me it would be the grasses. Nearly everyone else has said the reflections got them.
I think my mother would like to just jump into this painting and stay there for a while. She's a Western gal and finds this quite evocative. I think she misses her mountains. I understand that feeling. I didn't grow up with mountains but fell hard for them when visiting my daughter, Sami, in Richmond, Va. Love them now!      

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