|Completed landscape, Mendon, looking north.|
All technique innovations start with an unanswerable problem. In this case, it was capturing the thousand prismatic details of a fallow autumn field. In fall, red leans against purple which leans against gold which leans against teal. Trees seem to be less about volume than about sheer exuberance.
After much experimentation, I ended up dry scumbling layer after layer of pigment mixed with cold wax to create the foliage. This was extremely time-consuming because it required waiting for each layer to dry. (That's also a great way to lose the thread, I found.) It's a good way to create impasto, and it will save the client having to have the work varnished, because the wax won’t allow oxidization (or so has been my experience).
Applying paint like this seemed a lot more like working with pastels rather than with oils.
It’s a big painting for a big wall in a relatively big space, and it had to have enough character to stand out.