Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Enchanted Valley

Just finished a new triptych, "Enchanted Valley", I want to share with you.   
This painting has a nice balance of Yin and Yang elements making it a wonderful feature suitable for the bedroom or the family/living room.  The blue water in the painting is both refreshing and rejuvenating while still creating a calm and relaxing environment.  Water symbolizes money and wealth and moving water and waterfalls, in particular, stimulate good fortune.  The fish in the creek symbolically ward off evil and bring good luck.  

Balancing the relaxing, lucky blue waters are the fiery, red poppies that bring an auspicious, active, passionate yang energy to your living space.  Flowers stimulate good fortune and wealth which is enhanced by the invigorating, brilliant, red color.  An eagle represents healing, creativity, and far sighted vision.  This painting will help create a harmonious, lively, happy environment for entertaining family and friends or for intimate moments of quiet and reflection.

This is an oil painting on stretched, wrapped canvas.  The overall finished size is 30" h x 50" w.  Please follow along to see how it was painted.  

I had started a preliminary painting on these canvases that I ended up abandoning.   So I sanded down the old paint and applied the magenta tint back over it.  You can see the shadow of the old painting coming through.  I made a few sketches in my notebook until I found a scene I liked.  

On the canvas, I started with an initial sketch by dipping my brush in cold pressed linseed oil and using alizarin crimson.
Once I start to block in the darks of the creek, the old painting is much less distracting. I mix Cerulean Blue with Cadmium Red Medium and Light to mix the dark shale colors.
I add the turquoise of the creek mixing Cerulean Blue and a touch of Cadmium Yellow Light with Titanium White.
A dark green is mixed with Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, and Cerulean Blue, with a touch of red and used to start to delineate the valleys and shadows of the hills.
The distant, background hills are painted in using a mix of light greens and violets with lots of white so they sit back into the distance.  Brighter greens for the foreground are mixed with Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light. 
A variety of greens are mixed with various combos of yellow and blue with violets used to cut down the brightness and create a whole tapestry of rich colors.  I like to keep some green bright so the red and magenta flowers, being complementary colors, visually sparkle against the green.
I added the falls on the creek and the ripples on top of the water.  I am working wet into wet over the entire painting and since blues dry the fastest, I wanted to make sure I got the ripples on the water before the paint dried.
Here, I have started to add the trees and branches and limbs that lace the forest.
Finally, I started adding the flowers.  The red poppies and pink hollyhocks.  I started experimenting with a palette knife that has been in my arsenal for awhile but hasn't really been used.  This palette knife is round and I thought it might be perfect for the poppies -- and I was right!
Here's a picture of the round knife alongside my usual favorite.
 My kitty, Henry, napping by the painting in progress.
 More flowers and leaves and details are added.
I continue working the entire surface adding more details.
I think the valley needs something more -- like an eagle in flight.  I tried painting the eagle first up higher in the sky but ended up bringing him down so he is sailing through the valley with the hills behind him.
Here's a shot of my work space.  You can see past paintings that I print out to create the "inspiration" boards. 
Here's a detail that shows the heavy impasto paint and the red edges.  The final triptych is ready to hang, NO frame needed

As the painting emerged while I worked on it, I was reminded of my favorite book as a child about a young girl who discovered a secret portal in the woods that led to an enchanted land.  I must have read that book a dozen times.  This painting seems to embody that magical place. 
"Enchanted Valley",  oil on wrapped canvas, 30" x 50" triptych, c. 2016, by Charlene Marsh.  Inventory Code #080516 S 30x50. 

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!


P.S.  Be sure to sign up for THE ART BRUSH newsletter where you can receive news, tips, special pricing, exhibitions, and more!  As a bonus, when you subscribe, you will immediately receive a FREE one page report on How to Create Health, Wealth, and Harmony Using Fine Art!