Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Rainbow Point at Bryce Canyon" (oil on linen; 8" x 10")

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The view that inspired the plein-air painting

It was a rainy day two summers ago. We drove the whole length of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah--18 miles--hoping for a break in the overcast sky. Lots of people at overlook points were discouraging too for my plein-air-painting-a-day project, until we decided to take a walk at Rainbow Point. A brief sunny moment transformed the view along a trail. I quickly set up the easel and went to work.

"Rainbow Point at Bryce Canyon" has been hanging in my foyer for two years.  The walls in my house are covered with my paintings; it's practically a museum with many galleries.  Even the garage has a wall with six paintings, which I call "Gallery Garage."  Obviously, the main level is the prime location, where visitors can admire (my wishful thinking!) my artwork.  The foyer being the entry point, I must have thought "Rainbow Point" was pretty darn good.

Winding down my summer project of spiffing up old paintings, I took down the painting and found it lacking that special quality to deserve a wall space in the foyer.  The human-like rock formation in the bottom right, called "hoodoo", bothered me the most.  I think I know why I painted it so big out of proportion--I was mesmerized by and obsessing about it!  This sort of thing happens a lot to painters.  The tall, spindly tree to the left also seemed to be blocking the viewer's eye to truly take in the incredible vista that is Bryce Canyon. 

I strengthened the area between the now much shorter tree and the now diminished formation as the new focal point.  The colors in the shadows of the hoodoos are richer than before.  The new and improved "Rainbow Point at Bryce Canyon" is going back up to the prized spot in the foyer!

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