14 Oct Western Landscapes
When I started painting as a child, little did I know that my work would focus on Western Landscapes. I just drifted into that category having been naturally attracted to mountains, streams, lakes, horses and wildlife. I did not realize how focused the work was until another artist happened to review my website and comment that I “followed after some of the great western landscape artists.” I was amazed.
Western Landscapes take many layers of both pastels and oils to accomplish 3-D on a flat surface. I often have 10 to 20 canvases in process and some take years to complete as I build layer after layer of paint. The secret being I use a medium to suspend the oils so the layers become glasslike and each has its own complimentary fill in for the piece. As the layers increase the 3-D look becomes more defined because the paint is actually getting thicker. It is like layering glass and putting a few strokes of paint on each layer; when you look through the glass it will appear 3-dimensional.
When I do plein air work, I use the medium and create thicker layers but they are added in rapid succession. It takes a really good artist to get the look I am describing in an outdoor setting. I’ve found that returning for a few sessions to the same spot with the same light sometimes helps. Some think this is “against the rules” but I wasn’t aware of any governing body for plein air work.
After that I decided to branch out and do some new work. Since I lived in CA at one time and was known for my seascapes, I decided to focus on seascapes with the following results: 1. Big Surf- Pastel 2. Azure Cove-Oil 3. James Island-oil