The Quick Study – Continued – The Tetons

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…