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Sunset Out Back

Sunset Out Back

Piece description from the artist

Most evenings as the sun dips below the Sierra Nevada to our west, we get to see the shadow line sweep up the cottonwood and willow out back to our east. Here in Sparks, Nevada, our evenings are clear more often than not. This was a painting that had been nudging my imagination for attention for years.

It finally came to full froth, fueled by the simple pleasure of sharing a beer with a neighbor in lawn chairs out by his workshop. He noticed I wasn't paying proper attention to the current topic of conversation – no idea what that was – rather my attention was captivated by that sun and shadow line creeping up the trees and raking across the hills.

I set out to capture that sense of evening peace, when the quail are settling in for the night, the afternoon wind has died and the scent of sun warmed sage settles down to the ground.

I set it up as an oil on a clayboard panel, working from top to bottom, background to foreground and then restating some areas as needed. That blazing gold took a few passes to really pop properly. The sky didn't work as a smooth gradation, so I reworked it as a scumbled mosaic that better matched the brushwork in the foreground.