Close Window

Remote Retreat

Remote Retreat

Friends –

This painting of a small pine mastering survival on a slick rock ledge means at least a couple of things to me today. First of all, it was the first chance in what seemed to be a long time that I was able to get my solitude fix in a remote and restful part of Moab. It is always necessary for me, but particularly in these times of global sadness.

I used to get a similar type of emotional solidity and peace when I was capable of running long distances and I would jog along in a woodsy canyon trail by myself. I could sweat, think and gain perspective on what matters the most to me.

I can no longer do that kind of running, but I have found various mechanisms to achieve that same mental health goal. One of this is taking my painting backpack and finding a spot of wilderness to absorb and translate that into a two-dimensional canvas. That shorter trip with my oils and brushes takes a pretty close second to a long distance sojourn with my Asics.

Secondly, this painting that I will call "Remote Retreat", represents a new approach for me altogether. I mostly paint in the studio. Or, I have painted plein air (outdoors). But now I have discovered that it is extremely satisfying to do both on one painting.

The plein air half allows breathing the smells, hearing the wildlife, watching moving light and color, feeling temperature and wind. It helps me know that place. But now I also take that same painting home to my studio and work on it some more. Using nothing more than my own quick, black and white value sketch, no photograph at all, it gets finished using only what I remember feeling and only what is most important to me about the place. It allows me to forget about detail - opening the door to creative interpretation. It is freeing and I love it.

I will use this system much more in the future. Please stay tuned for that.

"Remote Retreat" is 11x14" oil on linen and so far is still available for your donation to a worthwhile non-profit. If not spoken for right away, I will take it to Bighorn Gallery at Dead Horse State Park. The Points of View show has been extended January 31.

Lucky me!

Margie Lopez Read