Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Painting of Joshua Tree

I go to Joshua Tree NP pretty much every year. I've been going there since before it was a national park, and it feels like it belongs to me. Which of course it does.

I painted this on a quiet day last spring sitting around the campground doing just about nothing, surrounded by family and extended family, and watching the light change. Changing light is the complete wonder of plein air painting. Over the course of a painting, shadows move and grow, clouds shift, and colors warm up or cool down. It is therefore nothing like photography, which freezes a scene in an instant. The painter suspends the sky while the shadows keep moving; captures the shadows while the colors shift, and mixes colors on a palette to match the day as it was minutes before, or will be. I'm not wildly good at it, but I love the process. I've learned to wear a hat and put sunscreen on my hands.

1 comment:

  1. Nice........

    My husband and I, have property up in Joshua tree (or is it 29 palms, or .....)..his dad left it when he died. I love the high desert in the spring and fall. I've always wanted to go to the National Park up there.