Algonquin landscape - Painting - Nature Art by Michael Dumas

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Michael DumasMichael Dumas   SAA, AFC, SWAN, LFIBA Michael Dumas
Realistic interpretation of nature.
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Heart of Winter - Algonquin landscape by Michael Dumas
  Heart of Winter  (2005)
Subject: Algonquin landscape
Dimensions (inches): 14 x 7.75
Medium: Oil
Description: On clear winter nights familiar surroundings are transformed into something quite new and even a bit strange, as if something hidden has been magically revealed. Memories of these experiences, though seemingly so vivid, proved rather elusive when I attempted to show it in a painted image. In dealing with this problem Heart of Winter was painted over a period of two winters, something that I hardly anticipated when I began. I took up the habit of venturing out on clear nights to concentrate specifically on identifying the relationships of tonal values and oh so subtle colours, and attempted to memorize them in hopes of transfering them to the painting the next day. From each episode came a small advancement, but after a disappointingly short time at the easel I would become unsure whether I was heading things in the right direction and would find myself unable to continue. Just what was that colour, really? How dark is dark? How clear should that shape be?...and so on. Eventually though, as the painting got closer to what I was witnessing directly, things began to seem just about right. Even so, I nearly ran out of winter before I was able to make the last few adjustments. During this process I devoted some time to studying star patterns, making little maps on separate sheets of paper and finally selecting a section of sky that I rather liked. In refering to winter star charts, it turned out that the arrangement I had settled on was part of the Orion constellation and its neighbours. It is this portion of sky that appears in the final painting, albeit somewhat lower in the sky to accomodate the artistic needs I had in mind.
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