The Painting of "Good Morning Seattle"

The Painting of "Good Morning Seattle"

Have you ever tried to paint your feelings about a place or an idea? I do that quite often and so it is with this painting. While in Seattle in the fall of 2017, I awoke to a foggy, misty-moisty day (I know that is commonplace in the Pacific Northwest). There was something about the view out of my 27th story hotel room looking out toward the sound - or lack of view.

That's the interesting thing about fog - it's an equalizer. When it's foggy, nothing is more important than anything else. Everything is shrouded in the same cover, the same light, the same values, the same color. Light is everywhere, being bounced around in the moisture. It's serene. 

When approaching a painting like this, I think about what I saw: the same colors everywhere, very little value change in the scene. How do I then, put this to canvas?

To me, the landscape in the Pacific Northwest is made up of blue-greens: the sky, the water, the lush forests. So I started with an underpainting of Payne's Gray and lots of water. Payne's Gray has a wonderful cool, blue-green feel to it. I put the color on very thinly in some areas and then with less water in other areas letting it drip freely, the capillary action reminding me of the moisture from the fog cascading down my hotel windows.

Once the underpainting was dry, I began with a limited palette of Buff Titanium, Neutral Gray 5, Payne's Gray, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Pyrrol Orange (only for mixing with the blue-greens to neutralize them) and Titanium White.

On the palette I mixed a bit of Pyrrol Orange into the Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Green to neutralize them to beautiful cool grays, and added lots of white to keep the values light and close between the colors.

I then began applying the neutralized color across the canvas with plenty of water from the spray bottle to because I love the interaction of water, paint and gravity - the drips help reinforce the misty-moisty feeling of the day. I let the underpainting show through in many areas for my darker values.

For me it was a very successful process and outcome. Tell me how you have gone about painting the feelings of a place, and how successful it was for you.

If you'd like to learn to transfer your feelings and emotions to canvas, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2018 workshops HERE)

  • July 13-14 Art Alliance of Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. To register contact Liz Busch:
  • July 27-29 Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO. To register contact Haley Van Camp:
  • August 8-10 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration Click Here.
  • August 23-25 Franciscan Life Process Center, Lowell, MI. For more information and registration Click Here.
  • September 6-8 Live Your Art Studio, Carlsbad, CA. For more information and registration Click Here.
  • September 10-12 Merced Art Center, Merced, CA. To register contact Bo Petty 209-388-1090.

As always, thanks so much for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn how to paint abstracts in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online course:

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop event. You can find out more by Clicking Here.




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