24″x 36″ Acrylic on Lexan
This time of year the rivers in Montana are blown out or on the rise.
With the Madison having a controlled flow from the dam at its higher reaches, it would allow for more of a color palette on the water than other streams that would be flowing past in dull grey hues. The graph for rivers showed most of the streams on an increase in levels going almost vertical. The beauty of this particular day is that there is no wind to speak of. It was as calm as could be. There were fishermen vehicles parked in my usual perch so the painting location was moved to the opposite side where there was less exposure to traffic and it would be missing the crimson sheen that can be seen most of the time from the other side looking towards the cliffs. The advantage of this place was the fact that most fishermen float past this side of the river with some big boulders out front creating large pockets of water where trout love to rest and feed. The only problem with this logic is that there were not too many fishermen to speak of. I spoke to one boat that was open to a friendly “hello”. They seemed to know what I was doing and just left the conversation that I was painting and carrying on. There was a mom and two kids that showed up a little bit further down stream and she was showing them the ropes of fly fishing. The boat that said “hello” earlier was yelling and making some noise about a fish they were landing down stream. It was a day that was definitely in favor of fishermen and an oasis from the wind and high waters.
The painting on this day was dominated at first by a silver green that was a combination of the water color and the reflection on the surface. Blue was barely added to the first layer along with silver and an iridescent white. The plan would be to have burnt sienna as the monochrome color as there is a slight red tinge to the Madison River. On this side of the river there is a heavy contrast from dark to light and it was determined that this painting would not be dominated completely by the high lights and that there would be a strong background to accentuate the lighter contrasts. When the painting was finished the repetition and flow of the painting really captures the riffles on the stream and matches the same speed and mood of the river.