Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and Valleys


"Peaks and Valleys" is painted on an 8x10" Canvas with Acrylic paint, in Portrait orientation. 

The colors used in this painting include shades of marigold yellow, gold, orange, raspberry fuchsia,  with earthy intermediate shades between peach and orange, hints of khaki green, bold strokes of several shades of cobalt blue, dove grey, charcoal grey, deep purple, and hints of periwinkle, lavender, dusty rose, light blue, jade green and teal green with bold white highlights.

This work is available as Fine Art Giclee Reproductions on Paper or Canvas.

The story behind this work starts out as a simple idea to try to paint with shades of peach and grey and goes to a super poignant story of rising above supreme loss. I had no idea at the beginning what would end up expressing itself here.

I had seen a friend's wedding photos on Facebook and was intrigued by the use of peach and grey in the gowns. It looked very classy and original. 

Since those are two colors I feel I least use, I thought I would try to paint something majoring on those two shades for a change. 

Interestingly enough (but not all that surprising), a great deal of blue and fuchsia ended up overpowering the peach and grey idea.

To begin with, I used a super liberal hand in squeezing out massive amounts of paint straight from the tube onto a relatively small 8x10" canvas, then quickly ended up scooping off about half of it and plopping it onto a larger canvas to develop later. The larger canvas was the only one handy at the time. (See "Painted Canyon" to learn more about that one.)

There was still a great amount of paint left on "Peaks and Valleys" and an amazing degree of texture. I was laughing at how much paint remained after how much I removed.

Using quick, bold strokes, the shapes I thought reminded me of mountains became very jagged and pointed. I was less than satisfied at how the top left corner started looking a bit muddy in color, especially since I much prefer the vivid, jewel tones. I decided to let it be what it was.

Somewhere early in the process, I read a status post of a new Twitter friend. I was charmed by her light pink knit hat and dreamy blue eyes. She looked quite young in spirit and was describing a yummy food item (a greasy burger lol!), all in all, not too profound or emotional. It made me smile. I read up more about her on her blog and was completely taken by her story, the loss of many family members in a tragic manner and how she rose above it to find a reason to keep living. In addition, she actually was an old soul.

The association between this painting's appearance and her story resulted in the title, "Peaks and Valleys," the idea that life is painful, but we still find meaning and purpose.

When I told her a bit about this painting and its title, she was very excited and accepted the connection of it with her story even before she saw it. Later, she featured the painting and my description on her blog. A beautiful friendship was born. We have stayed in touch years later.

Even though visually, this one is not my favorite work, I deeply love the meaning behind it.

Many of my art fans have felt a deep response to it, even before hearing the story. I am very curious about your response. Some people say they see an angel in the sky. Do you?