This winter season has been unreasonably cold. The desire to hibernate and burrow under deep quilts begins to sound like a siren call on these bitterly cold and dark days. Recently, in an effort to drive away the “winter blues”, I decided to work on a painting that recalled the warmth of a late summer day. The painting featured above titled “Sentinel Shadows” was the result of this effort.
A few years ago my husband and I took a Sunday drive through the lush farm lands that surround us. Baer takes the helm on these trips so that I am free to jump out of the car at a moments notice with camera in hand….he also plays crossing guard and keeps me from getting run over. With camera in tow I decided that when the sun started dipping in the west I would begin to document a few scenes that were bathed in what I refer to as “golden hour” light. This early evening glow saturates everything in its path with vibrant color and lengthens purple shadows that dip and dive along the landscape.
After locating the photo in my files I began the process of sketching and then laying down a monochromatic burnt umber underpainting on the canvas. As I began to squeeze out the palette of titanium white, cobalt blue, yellow ochre, red oxide, emerald green, hookers green, paynes grey and dioxazine purple I could feel the chill begin to lift. I began by laying in a hazy blue summer sky. Ah…that’s better….who needs light therapy when you’ve got paint? By the time I finished glazing over the roof area and the painted barn wood I had removed my cardigan sweater and fuzzy slippers. Working in the grassy area of the foreground was a pure delight and I swear I could smell the sweet odor of warm hay.
There are other golden hour photos in my files that may make their way onto a canvas one day soon if this winter doesn’t loosen it’s grip. In the meantime I’ll be painting, making soup, wearing cardigans, fuzzy slippers and a faraway look in my eye while dreaming of warmer days.