The Prismatic Path, Oil on mounted linen, 12x16
Capturing a moment in time is always a challenge. Yesterday we arrived at this location in mid-aftenoon. The spot I picked to set up my easel had a nice roll to the land. Although it was pretty evenly lit when I got there, I knew that the background trees would soon be in deep shadows. I wanted there to be a lot of contrast between the bright fall colors and the deepening shadows of late afternoon. Although one can never be completely sure what will be lit in a couple hours and what will be in shadow, one must make an educated guess and start laying down the paint. I had to make adjustments as I went but nothing too major. I was surprised at just how intense the colors became as the sun dropped in the sky. I found myself pumping cadmiums into the painting at an alarming rate. I was worried that I might be making the common mistake of overdoing yellows and oranges in the golden hour, but when I looked at the painting today in midday light, I felt I had not gone quite far enough in a couple of places and added a bit more color. The painting was about 95% done on location.