Choosing a scene to paint is like choosing someone to befriend. I use light and color to describe the personality of the place and how it makes me feel. And if I struggle with something I don’t like about a place that’s otherwise beautiful, I bring that into the process of painting it. In fact, I often choose locations that bring about this internal struggle. It is the struggle of appreciating pristine nature against acknowledging the human impact upon it. The painting, Obstruction, is a view from Point Richmond of the Mount Tamalpais Ridgeline, obstructed by the Chevron oil pier. The foreground, taking up half the frame, is almost glacially pure, inviting blue water, whereas the pier and its related objects are shadowy and foreboding; the color of the sky an acidic yellow, rather than warm sunlight, which to me expresses the sense of pollution the presence of the pier represents. Yet somehow, even though these darker elements are present, I think the gorgeous beauty of the landscape prevails.
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