McReynolds Road 11/30/16


24″x 36″Acrylic on Lexan


“The goal is set and now all that has to happen is the work in between”


Painting a specific piece for a particular occasion, or person, is the x-factor in the creation of working on a flycast painting.  The human interaction, the area to be painted, makes this the most gratifying experience to have.  It seems there are a lot of folks that would be hard to talk to, or have an awkward exchange that makes a person shy away from getting to know more people.  Anxiety felt in rejection can be a learned process and the only thing remembered when meeting new folks.  On this particular day there was none of that.  If every day could be spent with like minded folks discussing their passions, stories and knowledge, life would fly by so fast with one hellacious grin the entire time.

I have been commissioned to paint a piece of art that is a reflection of a piece of property in the Gallatin drainage.  I didn’t know what to expect when pulling into the drive.  The question in my mind “am I going to have to paint a  loose likeness of a house or barn, with my fly rod” as the house was no where near the river.  I was met by Jenny after knocking on the door and coming up the drive was her husband Aaron (I hope that spelling is correct).  There is a spring creek that runs through that particular part of the valley and  there are a few water sources that come together to make up its flow.  On this property there is a long pond and under the surface brook trout are bountiful.

The pond is the big draw for my art and the first one I will be taking on.  They leave me to my own devices after discussing the appeal for Jenny’s dad to fly fishing and coming out to enjoy their pond and private fish utopia.  Chronologically these are some of the decisions that were made on the creation of this piece.

  • After walking around the entire pond the fish are stacked on top of a spawning bed with a particular bruiser running the show.
  • A spawning bed deals with the fish, her dad’s love of fishing, and has a little contrast on the bottom of the pond to try and capture in the work.  If we want to go really heavy in this department it would be symbolic on so many levels as a the continuation of family as the comings and goings around the pond.
  • The day is clear starting out and the reflection is bright so some watered down white and silver is mixed and applied, running down the surface to capture the pattern of the ripples on the pond while allowing other colors to come through.
  • Silver and blue are seen from the sky and mixed with the iridescent white, has a blue sheen that sparkles in the softest way.
  • A break is taken trying to allow the work to dry, so the darker layers can be applied.
  • The pond has a unique, very hard to notice, maroon glow hidden in its sediment bottom.
  • The dark is applied and all of the previous paint has not quite dried, which plays into the day because the clouds came over and the world was perfectly still and tranquil.
  • The pond’s layer on the bottom is cast and then the lighter grey applied in the middle to capture the spawning bed.
  • Flecks of paint are thrown on the work that creates some variety of color and texture that is found in the stirred up gravel and the most vibrant orange is reminiscent of the eggs under the rocks.
  • Using the wet paint as the means to cast through to the other side the work begins on  coming towards the viewer with the work for the painting’s textured side.
  • Framing the grey on the surface is done by casting around the middle part of the painting.
  • The day is getting darker and the colors are hard to see and a dominant silver reflection is taking over the subject of the painting.  Watered down silver is put over the entirety of the work and then hit with a sweeping action to create a soft blend that makes the work more subtle and true to form on the day.
  • In the last few minutes when the temperature is dropping and visibility is becoming a muted shadow the sun had an opening and gave the sky a maroon glow off the surface of the water.  A few strikes on top of the sheen with that particular color sandwiched the end to this painting session.  The work was still wet and taken into a shop that had a stove to dry things out.
  • The work has two very distinct sides where the first part is very bright and lighter than the other side.  The darker side has more contrast and set around the works lighter grey middle.

This is where the story begins…

Upon the completion of the painting we stood in the garage and discussed the goings on in the valley, the artwork, horse trips and wild game that was taken that year.  To top it all off I was invited to eat dinner with the family and what an occasion it was.  A heaping helping of Bacon Carbonera was set on my plate and was such a welcome treat after the cold weather was pounding through all day.  More stories were told, the kids were flying their drones and falling on the furniture, a kind wire-haired pointer apparently likes to get petted a lot, and new friends were made.

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