There are a lot of people who have seen this one in process – I started it in Washington in May during the Camano Island art tour, and also made progress at Art-a-Whirl and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. I was working on the silhouette part during these events. When I start my projects, I have an idea of what it will look like and what I am working towards. However, it can be really difficult to make color or composition choices without knowing exactly what the pieces will look like when they come together.
I have worked with silhouettes a few times before, and I wanted to explore this with making the silhouette a dramatic and prominent part of the picture. What was interesting about this to me was that the focal point of the image is the tree and cabin, but these lack color or interior detail. I hoped it would have enough visual interest, and I didn’t want to rely on the background to carry the whole thing.
So I just started, and crossed my fingers. I used a lot of colors in the silhouette – black, grays, browns, green and blues – and without any of the background the differences really stood out. Then I started to lay in the oranges, and the bright color stood out like a sore thumb. Then I put in the lower clouds, and they looked almost as dark as the silhouette and I was afraid that I had lost all of the detail and movement from the trees that I had worked so hard on. And then I put in the clouds, but since they were mostly off-white they just made the piece appear kind of dirty. Even though it didn’t look right at the time, I kept on gluing and trusting my understanding of how the colors would work together and past experiences that bringing in the blue of the sky would balance it out. And I think it did! That internal panic of feeling like I messed up something that was going in a good direction happens on most of my projects at some point in the process, but time it took a while for that sigh of relief to come.
For me, this piece captures that moment of serenity when the day is coming to a close, the to do list has been completed (until tomorrow, at least), and you can pause for a deep breath. This is a very peaceful image for me, and I’m excited to hear what it evokes for others!
I now have giclee prints available for this piece in two sizes – 8″x10″ and 16″x20″. The original is 12″x15″. Please visit my “Prints” page if you are interested in purchasing, or let me know if you have any questions!