Work in progress
One encounters the Mistaya River on the drive through Banff and Jasper National Parks in western Canada, one of my favorite drives in North America. The day I took the reference photos for this painting was rainy, the heavy atmosphere partially hiding mountains on the other side of the river. In executing this oil painting, as with most of the paintings I do, I worked from background (top) to foreground (bottom). As the painting progressed, as colors begin to interplay with each other, it becomes obvious that some values need to be tinkered with, in this case especially the tones of the distant slopes and almost bare middle ground, both of which required some darkening. To add some life and some sense of proportion to the scene, I at first intended to place a golden eagle in the dead tree. But eagles are a fairly common subject in nature paintings, I decided to use a Great Gray Owl instead, a bird connoting mystery rather than majesty. You can see the final version, which I titled "Mistaya River Sentinel", on the Galleries/Landscapes page of this website.