Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dryland Rain

Dryland Rain. ©2011 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen. 30" x 20".
Paintings seem to arrive as a combination of experiences. This one is a good example of that.

A friend of mine moved into a new house last year and hung a large photograph in his entry. It's a black and white landscape with a low horizon, a highway and clouds. It's a vertical image and because I love road images, I love to look at it.

Last last winter I was driving across eastern Washington with another friend and she asked 'do you ever paint vertical landscapes?' I said rarely and a minute later we were driving towards a virga rain cloud - desert rain where it evaporates before it hits the ground. I thought of my friend's photograph of the road and clouds. Vanessa turned the camera sideways and started snapping vertical pictures.

Then later I was working on this painting and visited the Amon Carter Museum in Forth Worth Texas with Deborah Paris, Sara Lubinski and others to see the exhibit The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision.  We saw the painting 'Marshfield Meadows, Massachusetts', by Martin Johnson Heade. Deborah suggested that I bring the rain to the ground in my painting.

Later, I removed clouds, added clouds, changed the rain. Each painting is a composite of so many things that we see, hear and experience.