At Morfee Lake in Mackenzie, Northern B.C., the swallows were fascinating. They were very busy, skimming low over the lake and returning to chatter in the dead tree on a point of land extending far into the lake. They are very attractive blue and green birds. Two babies huddled together, desperate for a nap and bothered by the melee of adult family members.
Judy captured an image of a spectacular cloud over the Peace Country. For about half an hour it churned slowly, billowing in slow motion. Then suddenly it was gone, absorbed into the shapeless mass of cloud that moved off to the north. Three artists saw the cloud and wanted to paint it!
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!