"Morning Glow" - © Bruce A. Morrison
oil painting - 9X12"
(click on image for a larger view)
Not only have I been behind on my blogs, but in keeping up with this summer as well! I have been working in the studio and out trekking the valley below much of the past 3 weeks since my last entry...and racing summer!!! It is tough staying at task; too many things are tugging at my sleeve nearly every minute of the day. The sky is drop dead amazing as I type...should I drop what I'm doing and run outside with the cameras??! Its been that kind of a summer; so much going on and too many distractions otherwise.
The painting featured above was finished a couple hours ago. It is not a large painting but it required every ounce of my attention. It is, once again, a painting of my favorite little prairie stream Waterman Creek. But, as I've insisted many times before, it could most certainly be just about any little creek in the area. This particular painting depicts a walk I took along the creek several weeks ago - this was before this summer's drought brought the little creek down to a small trickle.
I walked the Waterman about a week ago...a different piece than I had in the past, and was hard pressed to come up with even a photograph. That mile section of the stream was so low that I almost could have walked the whole thing in slip-on rubbers and not have even gotten my socks wet! That's "Low" for around here! This is a summer I don't think many of us will miss - I just hope it doesn't revisit next year!!!
Summer paintings can be very difficult. About 30 years ago I heard one painter I admired very much, say how summer "greens" were the nemesis of many a landscapist. Summer is a season of green here, and most everywhere...green has to be tamed, or at least work with you, and that's not usually the easiest task.
This summer morning had an impressive "glow" to it and I wanted to maintain that impression of this early hour walk down the creek. I used the creek itself as the "threshold" to bring the viewer into the scene. I find reflections in the water as being darker than the place it reflects...that does help in anchoring a composition like this. The small rapids breaks up the foreground some, helping keep things more interesting, and the darker shrubs in the left middle ground help keep the viewer's eyes from simply straying off the edge of the image. The path of the composition is basically an oval or circle...about the most simple design possible in a landscape I think...just not always easy to carry out.
Breaking up the middle ground and background with a dirt embankment made it possible, in my mind, to relieve the potential monotony of the palette of greens. A leaning toward the raw sienna in the exposed dirt created a "near" complimentary relief as well.
I hope you enjoy this painting...that the summer has been kind to you. My heart goes out to everyone that has been racing summer, particularly if you haven't been exactly winning the race!