Saturday, June 25, 2011
A Stunning Painting by my friend Nancy Dillen (and an inside look at her process)
Fall's Bridge by Nancy Dillen copyright
oil on canvas
This stunning painting was done by my friend Nancy Dillen. It makes me think of a time several years ago when I was walking along a fresh, singing and sparkling mountain stream between Snowmass and Independence Pass in Colorado. I thought to myself, "I could die here." I know that could be taken to be a bit maudlin but what I meant in my mind was that the sensory experience of that place was totally fulfilling in and of itself.
Here is the story of this painting in Nancy's words below. We both have husbands with incredibly 'good eyes' and they are our best critics especially when we have been looking at our work for so long we don't always see the final steps necessarily until they point them out.
Last fall Rick and I spent some time with friends hiking the trails at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/rickettsglen.aspx. It was the perfect fall day: the colors were intense, the light was crystal clear, and the temperature was just right. Don't know the name of the trail, but it was about 2 miles long along a stream that switched back and forth. We passed about 20+ waterfalls of varying sizes along a loop that climbed back up to the trail head and parking lot. The day was so memorable for me because living in Florida most of my life it is rare for me to see such beauty in fall colors. I was taking pictures left and right as the yellow and orange leaves kept sifting down all around me.
At home in Melbourne, FL this spring I selected a photo that I felt epitomized my experience and started painting. The more I painted, the more detail I included. When I create a realistic painting I always refer to photographs or digital images that I shot and stored on my computer. I keep the computer right next to my easel, and refer to it as I draw the composition and paint. This can be a help and a detriment... a help because all the information you need to know is right at your finger tip. The computer can be a detriment because I start feeling like I have to put all that info into my painting!!! Then, I get so saturated with information, and I can't see the forest for the leaves!!!
It took me over 145 hours to complete the piece. Thank goodness Rick was able to be objective, and help me realize I was spending way too much time on the detail, and loosing the impact that I wanted when I selected the composition. Sometimes we need another set of eyes to help us out!!!!