Like I stated there, I feel that my paintings must provide an emotional payoff for the viewer. While many that visit my studio only see the trees in my work, it is the sky that I relish painting the most and it is in the sky that I can express the greatest emotional impact with color, light and shadow.
Like so many things that I thought I knew about painting but only knew at a certain level, payoff skies are something I've had many revelations about in the last six months. I thought I was amping things up in my work before but as you can see on todays painting, I go much farther now with color and contrast.
I'd avoided sunset and twilight skies filled with orange, pink and gold in my previous work. I think one reason was I feared creating cliched landscapes. Another was that I was using only sky reference that I had photographed myself. While I have tens of thousands of sky pics I've taken, most are lacking the sort of drama I want in my work.
These days I will just invent a sky or I cruise about the net looking for something that might spark my imagination. As far as cliches go, I can care less now. If it moves me I'm pretty sure it will move someone else too.
A bit about "Twilight Hillside". I repainted the hell out of this landscape. The original bears little resemblance to what the painting is now. I wrote a ton about the repainting process on my last blog. Suffice to say here that I will repaint any work of mine until satisfied that it is the best I can do.
The original had an interesting sky but much of it was compositionally flawed. I decided one day to end it's misery and basically made up a lot of what you see now. Overall I'm pleased with the painting as it stands.
If you'd like to have a gander at "Twilight Hillside" come on down to my studio at the Quarry Arts Center in Whangarei and check it out.