high desert I update

oil painting-desert-moorland-bog-kauai-death valley
oil painting-desert-moorland-bog-kauai-death valley

After creating the photo-montage version of this composition (discussed in my Feb.22, 2014 posting), I assumed it would be one that I would not ultimately convert to oils.  I felt it worked more successfully as photography than most of the other compositions, partly because of the unique textural quality of the bog portion that I thought would be difficult to capture in paint. Thus, other than Two-Sided Lake, this is the only photo-montage that I’ve converted to a large giclee print.  On one hand I think the blowing-up does give the work greater power, but while I think the resulting fuzziness contributes to the desired rough quality, the contrastingly sharp seam between the two images (which I didn’t want to eliminate completely) draws too much attention to it.  Also, the hint of ocean in the upper right never seemed very inspired since I created it entirely in Photoshop; at the larger scale, it feels even more this way. 

So, I changed my mind about not planning to paint this one.  As I suspected, it was difficult to capture the wet sponginess of the bog (the greatest possible contrast to the rocky/pebbly desert), and it took many attempts.  But overall, as I think is the case with many of the paintings, I like how the various elements have become more ambiguous, and the overall effect more dreamlike.  Plus, I had much more flexibility to experiment with bringing out the unexpected reddish hue of the bog – an environment so different in every other way from the desert – that first gave me the idea to juxtapose the two landscapes.

Darren