Friday, February 20, 2009

Beyond pretty

Bishop canal
pastel on Wallis paper 5.5"x8.5"

In the town of Bishop, California there is a canal that carries water from the mountains to the big cities, and there are nice trails on both sides for walking, biking. The town of Bishop lies in a valley between the Sierra Mountains and the White Mountains. Lots of material for artists there!
I'm trying to think more about composition in my paintings. I started reading Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts. Very helpful so far, and I've only read chapter one. He talks about different "armatures". I guess you would say it is the form of the composition, such as "S", "L", diagonal, radiating lines, fulcrum, etc. I realized that I'm often stuck on "L".
Especially in the world of landscapes, there are plenty of "pretty pictures" out there. I want to learn to paint in a way that makes an impact beyond pretty.
I was attracted to the shapes in this scene created by the water, and the strong shadows.


  1. Hi Mom.
    I keep forgetting to tell you I've been visiting your site occasionally and, though this is one of my favorites that you've posted here, almost all of the others make me aching homesick. I never knew I loved Missouri so much, especially in the bleakness of February. I was walking in this spot the other day, looking for birds, and it looks like your painting.