Artist Christine Lashley (Paintings that Sparkle) talks us through her latest piece!
I was commissioned to create a large painting of Main Street, Telluride, Colorado, from a smaller painting. My original plein air (on location) painting was 20 x 20 inches. The clients saw the original and wanted something similar, but with changes such as the artwork size and buildings shown.
The special light condition shown in the painting, “alpenglow,” occurs after sunset; it is a phenomenon of refracted light that makes the mountain glow orange and all the shadows look purple. It is quite spectacular and lasts for only a few minutes. When it happens, people in Telluride will leave dinner to go into the street to watch the glow.
I've participated in the week-long juried Plein Air Telluride for five years now and have seen many alpenglows. When setting up for the original plein air painting, created this past July, I marked the major colors in my head the day before. I was lucky to get two sunsets in a row, because the glow does not always occur.
The following day I set out to paint my scene and used the premixed main colors I had seen. A few hours before sunset, I got all the major buildings, cars, and mountains drawn in and in position. I painted the sky and mountain first and then the buildings and street after sunset. This is the same process I used to create the large painting.
The large painting was done over several sessions, using my special no-solvent way of painting to preserve luminous passages as I progressed.
Main Street, 2019, oil, 36 x 48 in., Christine Lashley
Learn more about Christine Lashley’s Paintings that Sparkle.