Saturday, March 6, 2010

Split Rock

One time, while I was in the art school at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, we had an assignment: illustrate grandeur. That took some thought. The way I met my challenge was to draw soaring cathedral arches in juxtaposition with very tiny figures. It worked.
Does this work? I have no context; just this split rock. It was massive, like a minor mountain.
In order to communicate is monumental size, I think I might have put some trees or figures, for comparison.
I surrendered the story about it's ponderous mass for the subtle and tender story of the light. I love the light.
It's risky to cover a painting in mostly the same value pigment but the rock had mineral deposits or something that made rusty reds, iridescent blues, hints of greens, all in the shadow on its back. It's front was in full, late-day sun.
I felt like I was backstage watching a major actor accepting applause in the spotlight of his fame, getting to see the quiet, private, subtle part at the expense of the light-splashed, sparkly, flattened out part that everyone gets to see.


  1. I'm not sure what I've enjoyed most... seeing this painting, or reading your blog! A beautiful painting... I can feel the sunlight on the front of the rock.
    Glad I've found you, I will now explore your previous posts. And thanks for your comments on mine.

  2. Haha, thank you, Shirley! I enjoyed your blog as well. I'm glad we're connected.

  3. Great story and very well done! I think back lighting a subject is a great way to set a mood.

  4. Thank you, Steve! I was in a mood, alright! A mood set by the euphoria of the moment, the frigid wind, and the knowledge that my husband and dog were waiting for me to finish so they could get comfortable. What would you call that mood...?

  5. Kim, this reminds me of Nova Scotia, another rocky and almost pre-historic place. I agree that the rock needs something to indicate scale but it's still fine as is. It reminds me of the rocks on the Bay of Fundy.

  6. I've wanted to visit Nove Scotia for a long time; now even more!
    Mary, I LOVE your Lady in Red :^*