Contrast And Mood

I was talking to a well know painter from BC and she said that if the sun isn’t shining she won’t even go out to paint. She is looking entirely for the bright contrast that you get with full sun and that’s the only mood she is interested in painting. I think all painters are in love with the interplay of light, shadow and colour that comes with lots of light. I certainly enjoy that as well but I do notice that often I’m attracted to more subdued scenes with less vivid contrast and a more tranquil mood. I remember once painting at Sunshine Meadows with a group of very experienced painters and I was taken by the interplay between a foreground group of trees against a background of a wall of green trees. I asked one painter how she would do the scene and she said she wouldn’t because there was so little contrast. She wanted the blue sky against mountains and dark trees. My painting actually didn’t work out but I believe it could have if I had been more patient and more confident. Anyway, I think a lot can be learned from the more subtle interplay of values and colours in low light conditions. This is all by way of explanation why I was attracted to these cloud studies from BearsPaw. I look at these as doing my homework, really trying to see the differences of value and colour.

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