In last week’s post you read about my creation of two quick studies, which lead to a posed question, “Are these two works, done so quickly, viable paintings?”
Let me continue…
I found myself painting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – home of the Tetons. I had painted all day long, from sunup to sundown, I was exhausted! As I was packing up and heading home, the sky, which had been moody and grey, opened up with color I had not seen before. I just can’t paint any more I told myself. The color grew and I was just stunned by it – so I pulled the car over and yanked the French box out, along with three small 16 x 20 cardboard panels and in a few minutes was painting – like a madman!
In seconds, the sky grew and grew with color! I was alongside a road and other drivers were swerving off to experience the drama going on. In just a few moments I had the small canvas covered with simple spots of color, then the scene grew and changed, and I changed canvases – throwing one on the ground and painting the one underneath on my easel.
It happened again, in 10 minutes the canvas was covered with color, a few quick accents and fini! And then, the sky drama entered into another phase of intensity! I threw the second 16 x 20 off the easel and began another. In my mind I was wondering if anyone would believe this? My body ached and my mind swam with paint and color. Then it was over as quickly as it had begun.
In a matter of moments, the sky, mountains, and ground, created a powerful memory what a display. I had three 15 minute quick studies, each rich and vital, filled with spontaneous color, passion. I hadn’t even had a chance to take a picture with my camera – who would believe this! Now seasons later, I look at these quick studies of the Tetons and their grandeur – and am impressed that I was there and had the nerve to give it a try! A color memory that was real and still lasts.
The question again, “but they are so crude and unfinished? Do they work? Are they paintings? Or just a study…a sketch done in haste?
An easy question yes, but the answer is somewhat elusive. Another experience to share next week as we find that answer…