Day 5 of the Strada Challenge

I made an earlier start today with the challenge. John and I went down to our Flathead Lake shoreline to prepare for an incoming storm. Since this weekend could be the last swimming days of the season, we decided to break down our summer set up. Before that though, I wanted to work on a painting while I was getting some good cast shadows.

I decided to paint this balancing tower of rocks which we call “hoodoos”.  This one is probably about 15″ – 18″ in height and our friend, Art, built it. It has weathered quite a few storms over the summer. Let’s see if it survives this next one with 30-mile per hour gusts.

My goal was to keep the painting loose. I had a limited palette of colors to choose from. After establishing my darks, I layered warm colors under varying shades of gray. Each rock had a different hue. The rock on top is the easiest to see and is red argylite. Then next down has a bluish cast, the one under that is an olive green, and the bottom rock had a purplish cast to it. It was a fun and quick exercise in painting shapes and shadows.

I purposefully left the background abstract. As you can see in the photo below, the mountains in the background, which are usually beautifully sharp, are shrouded in smoke blowing in with the wind. Online I can see that we have a lot of fires west of us but I haven’t heard of any in our area, thank goodness. My thoughts and gratitude go out to all those firefighters.


Photo of painting setup of Art's Hoodoo.

Art’s Hoodoo plein air