Sunday, January 27, 2008

Storm over Coniston
14 x 16 Oil on Linen

This is a great example of artistic license. The painting was started over 20 years ago, en plein air, when Elizabeth and I were on a painting trip to the Lake District in northern England. I was hoping to use it as the sketch for a larger work. Several attempts were made over the years, all were eventually wiped out. Finally a few weeks ago I decided to complete the unfinished sketch. I had a vivid memory of the day we painted there. It was what we thought to be a rather windy day, we later found out there were gale force winds. It was brutal but we were young and determined so we persevered. Once I had mixed my color and decided where to put it I had to aim about two inches to the right of that spot on the canvas because the wind pushed my hand as I tried to paint. We fought on until we had something to bring home. With this in mind I boldly threw in a stormy sky adding a rain shower in the distance to boot. The painting was starting to look a little angry so a few days later I brought a bit of sunlight into the middle distance. There were sheep grazing while we were painting though I didn't put them in at the time. I remember thinking how oblivious they were to the weather that was causing us such distress. So I added them too. Now with the sun low in sky and the moisture in the air I had created the perfect conditions for a rainbow.....

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