Entropy and Oil Painting

(Unfinished Mendenhall Glacier, impasto oil on panel)

The making of this little plein air painting spanned several years and countless evenings watching the sun set over the Chilkat Range. The Mendenhall Glacier is northward.

Shown here partially completed, I will miss it more than most. Birthed as seen above on a glowing evening c. 2005, one “alla prima” perfect painting session along North Douglas Highway.

When a painting goes well my mind is both completely empty and completely focused. I call it being in the Zone. It is a wonderful feeling.

And as will happen to the plein air painter, daylight wains, the weather turns bad, and the partly completed painting is stored in a cardboard box with others. Years later, perhaps by sheer entropy, the partially completed painting emerged from the clutter and landed on the big easel in my studio where I studied it for weeks. August, 2018, I returned to the original location several times to completion.

Painting for me is a contemplation.

Each stroke carefully considered, there is no hurry. Color on canvas. I’m the brush holder.

Along North Douglas Highway. Chilkat range seen in the distance to the west, maybe 50 miles. In the photo I am facing north, the Mendenhall Glacier in the distance, perhaps a dozen miles.

My approach to Plein Air oil painting