"Low water Morning"
oil painting - 6X12" - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)
Still bucking this summer heat and drought...even in my work. This painting was done as a study of the creek here in the valley below the studio. I often use the term "study" and I often find it can confuse people. "Studies" are a long held tradition or practice in art. They are works which serve many purposes. I use them as a spring board to another painting or work in a larger format...often giving the "study" time to gel in my mind - whether or not I really want to do a larger and more detailed piece or if its really something I'd like to leave "as is" for now.
This painting was inspired in part by the dry summer we are struggling through this year. I suppose if I were to go to this same spot today, it'd be even lower! I do like the gravel embankments as an element of this painting - as well as the drama of the early morning light and the longer shadows. I'm not sure if I'd feel the same about it as the water levels drop even more...but maybe treating the composition and light differently would make an engaging image as well.
We've only had 2 tenths of an inch so far in July here...after less than an inch in June and with weeks of being in the high 90's - some in the low 100's, adding in some days of dehydrating winds, and things are getting nasty! This isn't on a par of the droughts in other areas though...especially what Texas experienced last year. Its just affecting more of the continent this year than has been seen in quite some time!
I'm grateful I'm not farming here this summer! But if I were, the crop insurance would be the only blessing available!
Our native pasture is often my stronghold of inspiration...I'm sorry to say it is not the inspiration of past summers...at least not after about 3 weeks back. The prairie will certainly get through the drought just fine, but the plants are now going dormant as they literally dry up before our eyes! Another aspect of this is that we'll get little viable seed from the summer drought and heat. The grasses and flowers are drying up as they go from the flowering stage to fruiting and maturation...many of the warm season grasses are simply losing flowers as they form...all drying up for the season.
Still bucking it here...waiting for some good showers to come our way! Wishing you a drenching this summer if you need it!!!