Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Bridge to Faith" 11" x 14" Oil

Continuing with the series of paintings started on location in Taos, New Mexico....

After I had finished working on site on "Delivery" (see previous post), the day was heating up and I looked for a shady spot for my next attempt. I found it by the rickety old wooden bridge that lead to the near-ruins of what was once a thriving parish near Taos. I liked the mysterious nature of the building showing beyond this wild cluster of bushes that had grown up in the streambed. The scene had further depth because of the field and mountain beyond the church.

Unfinished painting after plein air session

The first thing I wanted to do, when I was back in the studio and evaluated the work, was to solidify and enlarge the grouping of shrubs, serving almost as a barrier to faithfulness. I used a large brush loaded with dark green and dipped in other pigments as well. The result was a riot of color. I added similar notes to the tree on the left, but subordinated them.

Next, I eliminated the long shadow on the bridge since it combined with the shadows in the streambed and pointed out of the bottom of the canvas. I softened the far edge of the bridge and made the surface cooler like weather-worn timbers gone silvery with age. Then, I repainted a few shadows on the bridge.

I needed just a little correction on the bell tower to finish up.

Finished painting

"Bridge to Faith"   11" x 14"  Oil

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