Painting in Death Valley 2016 “Super Bloom”
Once a year my plein-air painting friends and I band together and head to the desert. Death Valley spawned my style “Fortunism” several years ago. The style was born out necessity, as the dry conditions didn’t allow me to mix color traditionally. I was forced to adapt by applying premixed color combos directly to canvas. This direct approach allowed to me to be far more nimble in my decision making process, leading to even more explosive mark-making and expressive color choices. The end result “Fortunism”, has transformed my approach to plein-air painting into something truly unique.
The first time I painted in Death Valley was in 2012. It was HOT, very windy, and well, not so pleasant at times. But we made do and I was a better plein-air painter when I left. We returned as a group in force in 2013. This time I was far more prepared, we had better weather, and the paintings went further towards abstraction. This year we had a mere 24 hours in the park. However, a once in every 10-15 year wild flower “Super Bloom” was all the reason we needed to make the trek!
I must say though I only made 3 paintings, the flowers were so bountiful and beautiful, making the 5 hour journey was well worth it. I traveled with Steven Nakamura and met with James Trolinger, and a handful of artist friends. We made the most of a too-short of a visit to this magical place. James has taken the time to self-publish 2 books about are our visits to Death Valley in 2012 and 2013, please contact me if you would like to purchase a book!