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Golden hour


This one started with an old photo of a coffee mug that was sitting in the window of our Santa Fe studio. The light was perfect that morning and you could see through the misty window, hints of poplars and sage all the way down the arroyo.

The light was splashing off the table in this spectacular way. We had a pitcher like this but it wasn't in the photo so I had to create that from memory. Same with the orange juice. It's good practice. I had the mug and the window but it was an old hazy photo, just a hint of what I really wanted out of the finished painting. But it was enough I think.

I like the push and pull of the lights and darks, the story they tell and the mood. The complimentary colors, yellows and oranges and their drama contrasting with the dusky, muted lavender cooling things down a bit.

To me the brush strokes always feel like they've got a life of their own and I'm just barely able to control them if at all. Years ago I strived for control and now I feel like there's so much "fruit" in giving up some of it.

There's a sweet spot for me where I'm in the zone. I'm right at the edge of it always when the energy's best. It's such a touchy thing, balancing all of these things in every brush stroke.

I've heard the great painter Morgan Samuel Price say that she makes 40 decisions with every brush stroke. That seems about right. So many of those decisions have to be unconscious and almost automatic, they come from learning things right and just doing them over till they are like breathing. Then, you're making 40 decisions but only thinking about four.

In theory that is. Don't worry if it feels like you're still thinking about all 40, I was surprised when she said 40. I thought there might be more 😂

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