I took a year off during 2020 to get my psychotherapy business up and running. I figured, I'll just pick it back up after a year of not painting.
Oh, what wonton hubris!
My re-entry bootcamp was a Michael Chelsea Johnson workshop in Sedona, AZ. I did this in April.
This was the first view, on day 1, and I still haven't finished the painting. It wasn't a good composition and I haven't been inspired. I stared at a blank canvas and honest to god could not remember how to start a painting. I sat for a long time in that beautiful place, staring at a blank canvas, until Johnson came by and said, are ya having trouble getting started?
"Yes," I replied.
Do you, maybe, tone your board?
"I do! I do tone my board." I got out my transparent red oxide and got started. The board dried quickly in the Arizona sun. I did three at once, so that I wouldn't have to do it again the rest of the workshop.
Johnson was helpful, and the weather and scenery were beautiful, and finally on day 3 I started getting my mojo back.
Day 2 painting (all of these started outdoors, and finished in my studio)
This was at the Cultural Heritage Center. It took me a while of going back and forth to get the shadows right. Since red usually indicates warmth and brings things forward, it was tricky to figure out exactly how to get atmospheric perspective in.
However, I took a tip from Johnson and added some sky color into the background.
(I think the foreground could have been played down more. It's a bit superfluous. )
Day 3 painting at Crecent Moon State Park
Embarassingly, I didn't take a picture of this. But I got enough of the initial painting done to continue it at home. I was happier with this one, although I feel that I should have made that tree look a little more irregular, like a real cottonwood, rather than a giant green lollypop.
Day 4 painting at Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village. I generally don't do urban scenes, but I accepted the challenge. Because of the brightness of the scene, I decided not to tone my board, and just painted straight on white primed canvas board.