The Comox Glacier is iconic to our region. It is just across the estuary from our home. Every local takes a crack at painting it and so there are many interpretations done. Because Glacier paintings are so plentiful locally I chose not to try my hand at it.
But in October 2010 I was up and out early to do some sketching. It was a cold clear morning and it had snowed the night before in the mountains. While we don't get much colour on the trees on Vancouver Island, this year the colour was unusually strong and tended to hang about. As I was passing by the Glacier the early morning sun suddenly struck the trees across the estuary and I stopped to photo what I was hoping would be a very colourful and unusual image of the scene. The photo that resulted excited my interest to try my hand at making an abstracted painting of the estruary and the Glacier.
|Comox Glacier, estuary and town of Courtenay
So I set out to make different interpretations, all acrylic, on different sizes and formats. I began with smaller pieces and graduated to those below. Each was done with a slightly different palette and different under painting. This was the first time I really tried to "push" my painting. And at the time I thought I had pushed the colours too far. But my wife said no- leave them. Once framed in a warm dark frame the strong colours seemed to work - and they all sold.
A few weeks ago I was asked to make a commission of the Glacier, similar to one of those paintings that they had seen on my web. And they "needed" a painting with red in it. They also needed a different format: long and narrow - 18x36. I was not sure I could flatten the scene out but promised to try.
Below is the development of that painting:
Water soluble pencil used for initial sketch, then used Montana Acrylic marker, then wash off with water. Foreground light, mids and darks sketched in with Montana pens.
Wash using medium, water and orange liquid acrylic
Redefine glacier shapes using yellow Montana pen
adding controlled lines using making tape
Light magenta glaze on glacier then redefined highlight area with white acrylic marker
Many back and forth with light glazes and opaque areas of colour
|Glacier Morning Acrylic 18x36 2014
Where it sits at the moment. Away for a few days so will reconsider when I return.
Making this recent painting, four years after the first, had me thinking of how different I now paint. Interesting to think about it. And it now has me rethinking other composition ideas from the same source.
That one photo proved profitable and fun and great learning.