Thursday, April 2, 2009
The above is one of many photographs to be found on Google Images of Teardrop Arch in Monument Valley, USA. It is not the one I ran across in a book on the southwest I was reading recently. In fact, The Southwest Inside Out by Thomas Wiewandt and Maureen Wilks called it the Keyhole Arch. My Google results with that name were not mentionable.
I was looking through "coffee table books" of the Colorado Plateau in search of a subject I had not photographed. After a very productive few weeks I am down to three huge canvases and was looking for something unique to fill them with. And there it was. This subject will also allow me to utilize my new glaze skills on the distant landscape seen through the arch.
So if I had a perfectly good picture why go Googling to get other pictures of it? To see different light and shadow patterns and get a better view of the distant monuments on the horizon. And see it larger for details. The picture in the book is about 3 x 2. I will be painting it 30 x 24.
Today I worked on the sketch for this painting. And then placement on the canvas. I did not want the teardrop right in the center. And I wanted to pick up some shadows to create a flow that would lead the eye through the painting and not just grab it and hold it in one spot. With an image this dramatic it should be an interesting challenge. I intend to pour the rock of the arch and put in only minor detail on the face of it. I want the viewer's interest to be drawn to the far horizon and beyond.
Tomorrow the sketch which is a marriage of several pictures of this stunning natural formation on the Colorado Plateau.