Untangling a Mess


Paintingbuddy Bob and I headed down to Sedona to paint.  It was sunny in Flagstaff, but as we drove south through Oak Creek Canyon, high, thin clouds edged in.  Soon we had a “wax paper sky”; no direct light and very little shadow.  We debated where to paint.  Looking eastward, the sky seemed a bit more blue, so we headed southeast toward Red Tank Draw and Wet Beaver Creek.  We settled on a spot along the Creek that gave a nice composition…sort of.  This would be a challenge.  All the foliage, a tanglement of branches, rocks and roots all over the banks. And all that moving water!  The scene would need to be distilled down to simple shapes.  The creek provided a nice flattened “S” curve and the red rock shelf was a nice lead in.  When I squinted down, I could summarize the foliage into areas of dark and light.  A painter is never finished learning and you don’t get any better if you avoid a challenge.  AND it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to “be”.  With that little pep talk, I started in.  Bob was already halfway into his painting when I felt mine finally start to shape up.  At the end of two hours, I had a little 9”x12” I rather liked.


Riparian Respite   9” x 12”    Oil

Dawn@DawnSutherlandFineArt.com  © Dawn Sutherland  2017