Monday, February 14, 2011

Repetition is Good for the Soul

With some images, I find them coming back to me—in my head, that is. I keep thinking about them and imagine how they might appear in different media. I think about the feel of the medium. Watercolor across a light pencil drawing, color pooling in the blue shadows. The roughness of pastel, the carved ruggedness of a relief print. I might be washing dishes, or sitting in a meeting, or just daydreaming when the image returns to center stage in my thoughts.

I think it's because I haven't said all there is to say about a subject. The art hasn't finished spilling out of me. I'm not finished reflecting the impression it made. The image of Trail Camp at sunrise is one of those subjects. And so, I decided to explore it again with pastel.

Pastel has an energy and a texture that was just what I needed to capture the shattered planes of color in the jagged rocks; I wanted loose strokes on rough paper. I wanted that gritty brilliance and glow.

As I worked, I remembered…

The second morning we were at Trail Camp, we were tired and dehydrated, but still riding high from reaching the summit of Mt. Whitney the day before. We sipped our tea to warm us while waiting for the sun to tip over the ridge. We had just started to repack our backpacks for the trip back down to Whitney Portal. It was cold, but the ridge looked like fire.

I kept looking at the ridge, wanting to burn it into my brain, knowing I'd never be back.

Trail Camp at Sunrise
Pastel on Paper. 9" X 12".

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