Before the Afternoon Rain (9 x 12) $100.00

Before the Afternoon Rain (9 x 12) $100.00

This is the Catholic side of Boot Hill above Central City, Colorado. The grave yard is in a park, a geological park that is, i.e. a high mountain flat open meadow. Most of the graves are old and overgrown and the plots appear to be spotted haphazardly across the field. Here and there are tended plots and even occasionally a new grave. But most of the graves date from the 1800s. Wild roses, daffodils, and onions mingle (the mountain ghost-town survivors) mingle with wildflowers and grasses.

I liked the way the coming afternoon storm lit up some parts of the graveyard but left others in shadow. I also loved the sky itself.

I planned the painting to be three quarters sky. I painted the sky first wet on wet mostly in Prussian blue grayed down with burn sienna. Prussian blue is perfect for storm clouds the color is almost perfect and it spreads out nicely into water. After I finished the sky, I began the hills and the mountain ridge in yellow ochre mixed with phthalo blue, cobalt blue and Prussian blue. But I got carried away with trees and painted them higher up into the sky than I’d intended. I thought briefly about cutting off the bottom part of the grass but decided against because the gravestones so clearly belong in the mid and background. I like it, but I’m tempted to do it over again and really emphasize the sky this time.

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