"Paint what you know" is a refrain often heard from successful artists. Well, when I painted this painting in 2003, all I knew was that I had a serious longing to capture on canvas the heady "take-your-breath away" feeling I remembered when I was in Aspen, Colorado 12 years earlier. That was the last time I had seen mountain peaks. Florida has a lot to offer but mountains - well, we're slightly above sea level where I live.
Now, I had been drawing and painting for a while before I decided to explore oil as a medium. For this grand painting I had planned, 37" by 49", there was no doubt in my mind that it must be done in oil. I purchased everything I needed, stretched my first canvas, and began, literally, to paint from the inside out - meaning, I painted from my heart. Color was very important to me - it had to feel cold - the snow had to have up-to-my knees depth - I wanted "white out" conditions - the mountain-top view needed to feel endless - all because that was the depth of my longing.
Well, I painted...scraped paint off...added more paint...took it off again - layered, layered and layered. For three weeks this went on. Much like a blizzard rails and rattles and consumes when it is in the throes of an arctic blast, I was consumed with this painting. How could I get the viewer to feel what I felt, me - my solitude - in a wondrous spot so vast? Well, in truth, I cannot get anyone to feel what I felt when I painted this, hard as I might try. Still, it is the back story to this painting, and hopefully not an overly sentimental one.
Prints and cards of this painting are available at Fine Art America.