It’s all about color


Color…lots of it.  this time of year in southeastern WA the second cutting of hay is nearly done, the wheat is changing to golden in the warmest of areas and to a lighter greenish yellow in the higher altitudes and cooler areas.  The lavender is in full bloom as are the annuals and perennials in the yards. 
Last evening I dropped my daughter off at a meeting and headed out of town for an hour’s drive and what I saw was really breathtaking.  The sun was nearing the horizon and was casting a blanket of gold across the Blue Mountains and fields.  As I drove a loop south and east of town the sun gradually disappeared leaving beautiful pink clouds in the eastern sky and the fiery reds and oranges in the west with a promise of wind for the next day (so they say…).  And there was a cool breeze throughout the morning.
I can’t pass up a comment about color, so illustrated in the photos of the plants with the lavender next to the yellow lilies and marigolds, proving that complimentary colors play so well together!
This is a beautiful time of year – there is more than just greens (which I love to see in the spring after the grays of winter) and the sunsets are usually magnificent with dust in the air and whatever makes a sunset brilliant!
This week I worked on a couple of acrylics…The purpose is to work in a different medium than usual and try some different things.  I decided to contribute to the Lily Oncology on Canvas project which required a piece to be mailed to NY for their show…unframed.  If you are not familiar with that project it is one that travels the country and actually I think internationally to cancer centers, hospitals, some art centers and museums.  The work is done by cancer patients, family of cancer patients/survivors and caregivers.  Each piece of art has a narrative that goes with it.  I chose to send the “Survivor Blooms” that illustrates a few waterlilies growing in the shallow waters along the green summer fields.  Like the those friends of mine who have survived the disease and recovered, the lilies persevere and grow in the marshy waters, blooming more beautiful than ever.  The other piece, mountains in the background and a stream was done with mostly a palette knife and a lot of paint!  Working with acrylics is a good medium for me…they are pretty immediate in as much that they dry pretty quickly and you can build up some brilliant color.  I love doing clouds with the palette knife and building them with different colors.  I did another piece on a piece of Yupo paper, which is a synthetic sort of paper – almost plastic feeling.  I put some color on, sprayed it with water and got some cool runs.  The paper is heavy and didn’t seem to buckle at all (I did have it taped on a board).  It’s a paper I intend to play some more with…very smooth finish. 
I had promised to talk a little about competitions and art shows, but am going to put that off for a day or two.  I have had some interesting conversations regarding that topic recently so I do want to discuss my thoughts with you! 
So keep painting, all you painters….there is color everywhere!!!  and…
Happy 4th of July and celebrate our freedom!
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About bonnie griffith

I am a landscape artist who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. My work focuses on representational studies of the western US. I am basically self taught with lots of workshops and studies with several landscape artists such as Bruce Haughey and Clark Elster. I live in southwestern Idaho, am a native Montanan with a strong connection to the land. I spend as much time as I can in MT painting as well other parts of the northwest. I appreciate getting out in the field and working plein air because there is nothing like completing a painting in the true light of day and visually not being compromised by the use of a photo. In my work, my goal is to produce a piece of work that draws the viewer into the painting and challenges them to explore the scene; get a sense of the time of day, the temperature, the light or lack of. If I have gotten that viewer to step out of their reality and into that painting and enjoy it, then my work was accomplished as I wished. View all posts by bonnie griffith

2 responses to “It’s all about color

  • The Idaho Beauty

    You sure see this area differently than I remember it. I know all you say is true but somehow I only remember the dry hot August when everything turns brown and dusty. Yeah, I know that's not true either, but that's what's stuck in my head. These photos are so rich, and I love the new paintings.

    Like

  • B Zahn Griffith

    You are right about August…once the wheat is harvested it is dry until the winter wheat is seeded and started to sprout. But there is beauty in the fields after they harvest…the golds are different, but there are cool patterns in the stubble from the combines and trucks and they make interesting designs…it is especially so in the early morning or late evenings. But when it's 100 degrees plus in the middle of August and there are Controlled burns in the fields and there is dust in the air…I'm not as poetic!!!

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