My First 40 Years
Kent River Scene 1980 Oil on Canvas 30x48” $10000
Joe, a student, and another teacher suggested I look at Claude Monet’s work to see how he painted his shadows. So I traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art on a school bus trip to see its lovely collection of Monet paintings in person. I noticed Monet didn’t use black or brown to make his shadows as I was doing… rather, to my surprise, he used entirely different colors in the correct value to suggest light and shadow. This was a revelation… that shadows were full of as much color as light, and that the shadows should be painted with entirely different colors than the light. That shadows on a yellow brick wall weren’t made up of yellow plus brown (which I can attest looks like mud) but was surprisingly purple and blue instead. This was what Chuck Basham was trying to show me my freshman year.Before I left Kent for home and an uncertain future, my good friend and good artist David Bair and I trucked some large canvases to the park along the Cuyahoga River that ran through Kent.
Painting this took a number of afternoons, probably because it was so large. But here you’ll see a fascination with the different colors used to describe the same path when illuminated by light as opposed to when strafed by shadows. There's a little Monet in that, isn't there?