“Purple Mountains” contemporary figurative painting
This painting began as a fortuitous experiment. I had a bunch of old paint on my pallet and needed to use it before it dried out. The paint was about to be unusable anyway, so I was free to play around, and if the picture started poorly, at least I would have primed the bare wood. I had been thinking of painting the Saints walking to Zion and looking up at the Rockies, so I had this general landscape in my head anyway. I worked very quickly and had most of the board covered within thirty minutes. Within another hour, I had used most all of the old paint and began squeezing new paint from the tubes. At this point, it suddenly occurred to me that I was using new paint on what was most likely going to be a priming job, so I came out of my trance and stepped back to look critically at what I had been doing. Immediately, I saw that I was very interested in where the painting was going, and that some of my initial decisions had given great contrast between warm and cool colors all in the right places. I spent the next few days working on the painting off and on but also giving some serious thought about instinct and composition.