The Last to Leave
24" x 24"
A few years ago I was visiting at a fellow artist’s place in the Durango area in January. The weather was cold, but we decided to go paint anyway. She took me to a place north of town where I did a 12x12 study of a scene that had a lot of big shapes that I would be able to simplify so that when I got back to my studio, I could make a larger piece that would give me a lot of room to play around within those big shapes. I used the same kind of treatment I’d been experimenting with in these other paintings, scratching, scraping, scribbling, loosely applied brushstrokes, etc. I wanted to keep the feeling of that winter light but use the tree trunks as a linear element and the lingering few leaves for some small abstract shapes. There is the feeling of melancholy, or nostalgia in remembering the beautiful summer and autumn colors of this place, wanting to cling to what was, but also the slight sort of dread that time marching toward the coming winter brings. Or maybe it’s just because I’m always the last one to leave a party.