Pinto Valley Wilderness Painting

Sometimes the artistic process is a curious thing. Normally one would paint the painting and then find a frame that would go well with the painting, but in this case life’s realities inspired the art choice.

I had already put down the sky and established the background, midground and foreground.

I had already put down the sky and established the background, midground and foreground.

There are different thoughts on how to display two dimensional artwork. Some artists prefer to have their work framed to give it a finished look.   Some galleries and competitions require framing.   I often wonder what happens to the artists that prefer not have any frames with the idea that the frame is not part of the art and it will distract from the piece.   I can see both sides to this argument, and I think some paintings look fine without a frame or perhaps better while others need the clean edge to keep the viewer from peering around the sides of the canvas. Regardless of one’s preference, framing artwork can be expensive, so I tend to keep an eye out for frames that have been discarded in garage sales, flea markets, and second hand shops. Some of these frames can be a bit rough, but many of them just need a little tender loving care. What I like best about many of these discarded frames is that they are made of real wood, which one cannot find in a Michaels type of craft store, at least in my part of the world.

Placing the sagebrush was vital in creating the illusion of distance.

Placing the sagebrush was vital in creating the illusion of distance.

So I had this strange orange colored wooden frame that someone had found for me. It was kinda ugly but was in reasonable condition, so I wondered what on earth would look good in it. I had decided it would need to be a painting that had colors that would be enhanced by the frame’s color, and one day I stumbled upon a photo of the Pinto Valley Wilderness just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada with rich reddish orange soil colors that would look good with the garish orange frame.

Finished painting - photographed indoors.

Finished painting – photographed indoors.

Finished painting - photographed outdoors.  The color difference is amazing.Both photos have vivid color quality and yet are so different.  I think the outdoor photo is more true to the actual appearance of the painting.  This is why I often photograph my artwork outside and that can be challenging at times when the weather is less than cooperative.

Finished painting – photographed outdoors. The color difference is amazing.  Both photos have vivid color quality and yet are so different.  I think the outdoor photo is more true to the actual appearance of the painting.    This is why I often photograph my artwork outside and that can be challenging at times when the weather is less than cooperative.

I started right away on this painting and actually forgot to photograph the beginning stages.  In the joy of inspiration I did not think to stop  and photo the process of working.   It has been so nice to feel like painting again.   Upon completion I noticed a curious aspect about my landscape painting – I tend to like to paint in vivid brilliant colors despite the more realistic quality of the subject matter.   All my landscapes tend to have this almost surrealistic Technicolor quality to them, which is not something that I am doing on purpose.   It’s just happening naturally.   Instructors and critics would argue that everything has to be done with a specific purpose but then that would kill some of the fun creativity of painting.  It will be interesting to see in the years to come if all my landscapes retain this intense color choice.

Below is the painting in the frame that I referred to which is not a color that I would choose myself.

G. Winkler © 2014

Framed in the frame that had the odd orange stain color that seems to go well with the artwork.

Note this is an exterior lighting photo.

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Gretchen Winkler is a Technology Artist for Cumulus Technology and is one of the founders of the We Are Technology brand concept. She is currently the Lead Social Media Architect for We Are Technology and the Lead Technical Writer. For the past 15 years she has independently authored several historical and performance informational websites and is currently working on her Masters of Arts degree as well as authoring several fictional novel projects. She is an ambitious energetic soul that loves learning new things and broadening her horizons.

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Posted in Art, Inspiration, Painting
2 comments on “Pinto Valley Wilderness Painting
  1. That difference in appearance is truly remarkable. I must say, i prefer the outdoor effect. As for the colours i wonder if some of it is something to do with using acrylics – i like my pics to look kind of more old fashioned but have found acrylic doesn’t allow for that? I think it makes your paintings look more alive and immediate though

  2. And the thing experts do with “The artist was thinking / intending…..” always makes me laugh : )

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