(Oil on Canvas, 24×18)

Recognizing and learning the basics: At the base of the two pines, looking towards Dick’s Pass and Dick’s Peak, the water becomes the focal point. It is absolutely pristine, with clarity that enables you to see the features and beauty beneath the surface as well.

This painting was done entirely left-handed. I am right-handed. Unfortunately, I tore my biceps in the gym in mid-August and had just come out of surgery when I started painting this. This is a clear affirmation painting is done in the mind, not just with the hands.

The goal of this painting was to learn how to illustrate water effectively. As I know water will be an intragel part of my future works, I wanted to get better at painting it – the depth of the water, the clarity, reflections, the shades, shadows, and colors. It was an exercise in learning how to see more than how to paint – to see the colors in the foreground, the direction of the waves, the reflections in the distance and to recognize and appreciate each layer – the distance reflecting the blues of the sky and the foreground showing the clarity to the shallows with granite rocks beneath the surface. Through extensive trial and error, I learned a technique that allowed me to effectively illustrate that transition. It was an extensive exercise in layering successive glazes of colors and values, working from the background to the foreground.

One of the more satisfying aspects of painting is discovering a new technique or new way of doing things. The water technique I learned is now part of my toolkit and will be forever. I used it again in painting #17…and will again in many more as I iterate to improve on it each time.