Friday, October 24, 2008
The Silo beside Dog Leg Creek
I have painted this silo scene about a dozen times, both on site and at home from photos. I have yet to capture the true beauty I find in this vista, with all shades of green found in the prairie, crowned by the tower of dusky red. I have failed to capture in a photo what it is I see either, though I've taken dozens of this very view. I dislike capturing structures in my "nature" photos, but for some reason, I love this silo and the impact it has in the landscape. The day I took this photo was a partly cloudy day, so there were large swaths of glowing green wherever the sun shone on the distant hills. I also love seeing the dark blues of a stormy sky against the green of the landscape, which were recorded in this photo.
I often wish my artistic ability matched my "artistic eye". It is discouraging to not be able to paint exactly what I see. One time an artist I admire very much told me that no artist ever manages to paint exactly what he sees. That encouraged me only a little. It is still a worthy project for me to try to capture with paint and paper the emotional impact the red silo has amidst this green and lovely Kansas view. I do not know how to convey distance in neither a painting nor a photograph, which is a large part of the visual impact of this valley. Even if I never get it just right, I still have the living view itself. And that is better than any painting or photo.