Spring is Moving Toward Summer – MOPO 2018

Spring is moving once again toward summer. The introspection and cuddled warmth of fall and winter give way to the exuberance of the brighter seasons.  The sun is higher in the sky, the brilliance of the noonday is nearly blinding with light.  The key of color and value is so near the brightest it can be that a painter is way up on the edges of the value scale.  Yet the chroma of color still remains in natures shadows.  It would be like a soprano hitting her highest notes while keeping a full timbre so as to not sound shrill or thin. 

It’s easy to understand perhaps, the suggestion that all paintings are essentially abstractions.  The directness of the sun is bouncing light around everywhere, casting and mixing color in an interplay of photometric activity.  How would articulation of hyper-detail even have a chance to convey all that radiating jubilance?  No, the rendering of each petal of every flower would only wreck the dance.  Instead, the painter must be standing right on the balance of detail and fleeting shimmers.  Monet once said that he constructs his paintings simply by placing the color as he sees it where he sees it, which is from his witness of nature.

Plein air oil painting and fine art print of a garden in bright daylight. Vivid flowers and green grass with trees, at Mendocino Botanic Garden.
Mendocino Garden Serenade

This painting was done at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, during the Mendocino Open Paint Out of 2018. The great lawn offered this lush and abundant view, the sun gently shining. One could truly feel how spring is moving once again toward summer. To add to the perfection, butterflies were fluttering around the flowers and leaves. I can’t help but imagine, in a scene like this, how the artist might respond according to his or her discipline, music, dance or writing for example.  This response is an oil on canvas.

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