I've finally resolved this little painting of one of my favorite views in Calistoga! (I first painted it in a different palette and on a very different scale – at 36"x 48" – in Mustard and the Mountain.) I'd begun it some months back, posting the various stages of its development on Facebook, until I needed to stop. I'd altered the sky from yellow to blue (as part of a development I'd expected), when the painting announced that it wanted the sky to be much deeper and redder. (Yes, sometimes paintings do that – and it's always a good idea to listen to them.)
The red glaze was too red, but – ooooh – it was lovely. I lightened it, but the painting wanted just a little more of that beautiful glaze. I'm sorry I didn't photograph that final, lovely glaze - which was a radiant coral red. I knew the sky wouldn't stay that way, but I needed to live with that color for awhile before I was ready to let go of it.
The final stage of Mustard and Mt. St. Helena combines hints of that vivid, luminous coral glaze with the orange and yellow glow of a sunset sky. This is the third time I've painted this view, and each time the beauty of the place astounds me all over again.
I'm giving a painting demonstration in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday for the Artists' Round Table, a Sonoma County art organization that meets monthly and features painting demonstrations, much like the Napa Valley Art Association. I'll be bringing this painting, along with some others, as one of my examples of my work. Now to decide what else to bring along....
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am an artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes and lessons, and live in Calistoga, California. I also teach private, group, and corporate art workshops in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and other parts of Northern California.