Memory Exercise

Obviously I could use some memory exercises!  I wanted to paint a picture I took out at Moonshine Lake but I couldn’t seem to get the picture and my paint kit in the same room at the same time.  Since I’ve seen this scene in person millions of times I figured I could paint it from memory.  I knew the prevailing colour was purple and there was snow globbed on the trees and under the cattails.  Long shadows stretched across the ice.


As I painted, I thought I was getting quite close to the way the scene is, although I wasn’t quite satisfied with the colour scheme and thought there was some disconnect between the warmth at the top of the trees and the chilliness of the ice and shadows.


Only when I finally put the two together did I see how off my colour scheme was!  Why didn’t I remember the near monochrome qualities of the snow and shadows?  Was I fooled by the old “trees are green” rule?

We always tell students that no one really looks at things until they try painting them. It doesn’t matter if you get something that isn’t absolutely photographically “right” so long as the overall effect is pleasing.  That’s what art is!


Translucent Shadows


Judy painted this scene in order to capture the glow of the shadow of the snow.  On a bright day, snow shadows can be astonishing colours: blue, purple, or this particular luminescent shade of grey.  There it is in the clouds as well, that translucence that comes out of the brightest of whites.



The gift of a rose complimented by a wash of sunshine.  I wanted to make this a bright and sharp painting, right down to the deep shadows up the wall.  The composition was planned to be unusual to feature the balance of the solid rose and vase and the stretching lightness of the baby’s breath and shadows.  I’m quite pleased with this one because it was a challenge in many ways:  I had a definite vision; I’m not great with florals; I was changing composition; I was painting so many textures.  Also, I was on a deadline.  Of course.