Saturday, February 20, 2016

Colorado Sunset (watercolor painting)

A place, a moment--its shapes, colors, textures, light, shadows-- can be held inside for a long time before it shows up in a finished painting. The western view at Vista Verde Ranch in Clark, Colorado, has a particular resonance for me, vibrating with its beauty and power, with family memories and a sense of personal transformation.
On a December visit a couple of years back, I painted every day, filling a medium-sized watercolor sketchbook. Over the years I have painted watercolors from those sketches, mostly of the high peaks to the east and north.

A few days ago,though, I had a strong urge to paint a particular sunset that I had sketched loosely from the porch pictured above. (The place where I began and finished each sketching day, with wanderings in between.)  I consulted my sketchbooks and memory, then, on good watercolor paper, made the simple sketch below, leaving plenty of room for sky:

After that, in afternoon light, I chose and mixed my palette ( Payne's gray,  ultramarine, yellow ochre, permanent rose) and painted until finished:
                                WINTER SUNSET, VISTA VERDE RANCH- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, February 2016.)