Art Resolutions is a self-imposed initiative to create an art study every day for a year.
Salt Lake City, Tuesday, June 1, 2015
Let’s be frank, there isn’t much that isn’t visually enhance by the soft light and shadows of day’s end. I love mountains, but in honesty, was less than impressed when I first saw them in the mid-day sun. Upon my second Salt Lake sunset, I find myself warming to the Wasatch Range. Yes, like an older woman, the soft light of sunset is kind to these mountains.
By this time you are expecting a mountain landscape, and perhaps, you’ll be surprised to see another version of the catalpa. But the low western shadows on the mountains have reinforced a theme circling the back of my mind. The catalpa study reminded me of the mystery and fascination created by the forms you only partly see lurking in the dark. Like the mountains, looking at the catalpa I see shapes that don’t represent what I know catalpa leaves to look like. They are distorted, partially obscured by dark and other indistinct leaves. The edges that emerge suggest but don’t tell what is there.
For all these reasons, I returned to work on the catalpa study but this time in the electronic drawing program. Though the first watercolor suggested contrast, it really didn’t communicate the depth and formless darkness that the viewer slips into at the bottom of the tree–receding into the woods. I went back to experiment using grey pencil to add a soft additional layer of detail to the lighter areas. In the lower sections of the three, I began layer electronic watercolor in increasing density.