|Evening Above the Horse Heaven Hills. ©2010 Lisa McShane. 20" x 30". Oil on Linen.|
This one has more layers - many, many more - in the opaque paint - mostly in the sky. I placed the foreground in shadow and put the light in the middle - a compositional approach Inness used in many of my favorite paintings.
The foreground is a mix of transparent glazes and scumbles - back and forth and back and forth between the two layers - but with more visible texture than I had been using in the transparent passages.
I used the sky as a way to focus on the light falling on the wheat fields in the distance and to call attention to the disappearing horizon - that's the Columbia River. Where the viewer stands is a high point on the Horse Heaven Hills, with a long, dramatic slope to the Columbia gorge in the far distance. This is an arid area and the winter wheat in the mid-ground gives way to shrub-steppe and now, increasingly, vineyards in the distance. This south-facing slope of the Horse Heaven Hills is one of the best red wine growing areas in the US and is a place where you can see geology clearly at work.
Here is a painting - also looking south - but of the hills that you're standing atop: Horse Heaven Fog.