24 x 30 oil on alkyd primed canvas. Click on photo for larger image.
I don't know if anyone else has ever had a painting that will just not lay down, but this was my experience with this one. I started this piece back in March and could not for the life of me have it look anything but contrived. This canvas has been on and off the easel countless times and set aside in utter frustration. Just because I am stubborn, I refused to give up. I fiugured the reason why it was not working was because there was something missing in my painting toolkit that I needed to learn. I imagined it to be important enough that I was willing to contimue to dust off and make another run at the canvas until I had something that was working. It remains to be seen if what I learned from this experience will affect my work. It is no Curt Walters by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I don't feel completely defeated.
What did I learn? Values and temperature are the only way a scene like this can be even remotely believable. Pretty simple tools, but the canyon will bring to light any weakness in this department.