I worked pretty intensely for a week in Utah, at an invitational painting event, Maynard Dixon Country 2009. 30 or so western realist painters….and me. I was intensely involved in the painting, but was somewhat disappointed with the results. I like the pics of the works in progress, shot on the easel against the setting…..they have evidence of the process and the reference to the situation…the finished pieces seem s bit flat and dead. I got so involved in recording the information.. the stone cliffs, scattered trees, ragged brush…I think I failed to attend to the issues of color and light as overall conditions. I got them out of the box when I got home and think they are too damned close to old litho postcards.
I also know I don’t want to re-do romantic hazy shots of the glories of nature. I really can’t paint purple shadows….( wont)….so I need to find a way to be out there and looking as intensely as I can and get some images out that convey something of that process and experience.
I had little in common with the other painters…we didn’t share much in the way of common influences and goals. They were very adept with color and drawing and organization…but most of the work seemed out of another time and place.
The first night I arrived I wondered around and saw a beat up old garage…with an old VW van, trucks, farm debris…and thought it would be a great place to paint. I should have followed my impulse.
I have some time to consider it all…very immersed in planning the Big Draw and helping with the Mural now in progress.