“The Forest Clearing … Oregon Irises & Daisies”
(Oregon Coast Range)
Oil Painting on Sundalea Panel
with an additional Priming Coat of Rublev Lead White in Oil
5” x 7”
In June the wild Oregon Irises were in their prime, and I determined to have them in a painting; not as a floral portrait, but as part of the landscape. These Iris are and almost white lilac colour with a yellow center; quite nicely subtle. I also wanted to paint the little forest clearing, in which I frequently camp on these long weekends away from town. It is a young forest surrounding this clearing growing up after formerly being logged, perhaps 20 or 30 years ago. There’s nothing particularly special about it, except that it is nicely secluded, just off a forest road, and if anyone else turns to come into it they can see my SUV 50 yards up into the, allowing them to reverse out with no difficulty, thus preserving my solitude; this is a plus come hunting season. I chose a corner with taller grasses coming in, with a few of the Irises here and there, Manzanita shrubs to the right with their little urn-shaped flowers being worked over by the Bees, and the first Daisies opening out. The week after, the Irises were pretty much gone and the Daisies which had been a myriad of little buds, had opened and become a myriad of blossoms; but that was in the future. You can see that the young forest forms pretty much a wall which surrounds the clearing, impenetrable, save for the wild creatures which either live here or pass through. Bambi and his Mom passed through early one morning, rabbits came out at dawn and dusk, and the resident chipmunk scolded me periodically; various birds visited throughout the day, including one Hummingbird that several times a day would buzz down and closely inspect the red of my truck’s tail lights before deciding that there would be no nectar found there!
I laid down and imprimatura with Winsor & Newton Burnt Sienna (Alkyd), so that it would set up quicker, and proceeded to block in the lights and shades with a mixture of W&N Ultramarine Blue, & a touch of Burnt Sienna (Alkyd). I mixed a variety of greens from W&N Cerulean Blue & Cadmium Yellow & Cadmium Yellow Pale, and Ultramarine Blue in the place of the Cerulean for the darker more transparent greens, and went over the block-in with these greens. You can see the tips of the Douglas Firs have the lightest, yellowest greens depicting the new growth. With such a green painting it is essential to have a variety of mixed greens, and to add touches of earth reds here and there to keep all that green from overwhelming. The Irises were mostly Cremnitz White with a touch of Indian Red.
The complete Palette is Cerulean & Ultramarine Blues, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow & Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cremnitz White (all W&N), and a little Roberson’s Indian Red; a very little W&N Cobalt Blue also got worked in.