Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wild and Tame

A new commission for a home outside Seattle. This contemporary house is surrounded by extraordinary rainforest and I chose to portray the two aspects of life there. The wildness of native plants - Douglas fir, maple and dogwood on the left - and the tamest of all hybridized garden plants -petunias and geranium on the right. The painting measures 90x30 inches on three panels. 

The client requested copper leaf. In fact I have had a surge of requests for copper this spring. It seems it is trending!

The client also requested hummingbirds.

The darkness of the copper combined with the shiny and unforgiving surface of the wooden panel required a bold painting style. I started with something more textured and gentle but, after much struggle, came to this almost cartoon inspired way of dealing with the drama of the materials.

I left a little texture in the copper leaf - but not as much as I usually do when I work on canvas. 

When I delivered this commission to its new home I felt so pleased to see it surrounded by equally bold dark wooden furniture and a picture window to the left of the painting showing the same giant trees featured in the painting. The copper glowed and looked perfect! What a good choice by my clients.