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This painting was initially done as a commission. The clients were a prominent construction and contracting family, and they were brought into Davidson Galleries for my first show. Their interior decorator had wanted them to see a sculpture that was in Davidson’s inventory, but they were really excited about a painting of the Kingdome that I had done, (and which is now in the collection of University Hospital.) The decorator “refused to allow them to hang a painting of the Kingdome” in his interior design, so they compromised on a commission of the Pergola.
When the painting was nearing completion, I met with the interior designer in a small frame shop. He took one look at the painting, and with over-the-top histrionics he informed me that the clients “did not like black and they do not like yellow.” I ended up doing an entirely different image of the Pergola, which they accepted, although they would have preferred that it pictured “her Corvette and his cement truck.” That painting is pictured below.
“Pergola, Early Spring” is now in the collection of Chicago Title Insurance. The image of “Pergola, Early Spring” above was taken by my friend Ryan Price, on a visit to the title insurance company.
Another effort to capture the eternally escaping light, while life sifts through our grasping fingers like sand in an hourglass. Painting en plein air requires a certain flexibility of mind. One cannot copy nature; that is an impossibility. One can only remark upon it, and commemorate the transformation of the future into the past by way of the present.
Started painting at 7 AM with student Min Zhong. When we arrived, the early morning fog was lying low in the valley. It burned off and dissipated very quickly. I painted as fast as I could to get the essential “look” of the scene, aiming for what a painter that I knew in Boston called “the Big Light Effect.” The rest of the session was spent refining forms and making small adjustments.
Two small studies painted in Monroe, standing on the Western edge of Tye Lake. Both were executed rapidly, on panel using a pochade box. The white of the panel was left for the clouds.