Anatomy of Land Abstraction I

This is the story of an 8x13 painting that changed completely; note that 8 and 13 are two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc.). Also its aspect ratio is close to the golden mean (13/8 = 1.625, while the golden mean is 1.618...)  The original intent was to capture the colors of a southwest landscape with distant mountains. The painting was moderately successful. I had done a series of "chromatic" paintings of the southwest landscape as well as aspen-covered mountains of New Mexico. 

As I prepared for my Los Alamos show in July 2023, I wanted to change the painting to a more abstract painting emphasizing cliffs, using or imagining a dynamic symmetry armature and golden spiral grid. I used a squeegee for a new version as it is very useful in rendering straight edges.

Sequence of original painting steps:

Two years LATER (April 2023) I decided to change this 8x13 painting. 

After sanding...

Half an hour later using a squeegee to add strokes:

Land Abstraction I, 8x13, oil.

I do remember imagining the dynamic symmetry armature on it and attempting to place the squeegee at armature lines. I also 'scraped down' from the top of the hills to create the striated cliffs. I covered the vegetation. I made the hill tops more straight-edged rather than the rounded version from earlier. As mentioned above, the squeegee facilitated this. I also brightened edges of the top cliffs. I could have used the Catalyst with it's straight edges. Both the squeegee and the Catalyst wedge have long straight edges. I've more recently been experimenting with a house painter's trowel. This might have functioned also.

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