Palette knives

That dawn sky on Thursday of last week had a huge impact upon my thinking about how the Traveling Man painting will work. I had thought that the composition would be dominated by the road winding through a landscape, with fields and trees filling the majority of the canvas, but that sky was so extraordinarily liquid and beautifully lit that it’s really gripped my imagination – you see, I hadn’t paid any attention to it until I started running around the field that morning, and as I turned the corner to behold that gloriously turbulent cloudscape I was almost stopped in my tracks by the impact it made upon me. We’ve all seen sunrises and sunsets that have amazed us by their glory, we delight in the colour and warmth of  a really good sky as night creeps toward the West, but this sunrise struck me at the moment that I needed it too, when I was searching for the image that would come before the Angel of Death in the sequence of the four paintings that will make up the series.

The Angel of Birth

The Traveling Man

The Angel of Death

In Between Death and Life

knivesI’m interested in regaining some of our sense of wonder in the natural world by painting the series – if I paint the Traveling Man as a small figure in a landscape beneath the most extraordinary sky perhaps people who see the painting will be reminded that we live within an incredible universe, and that while our individual journeys through our short lifetimes are completed quickly the natural world around us will continue for aeons, forever as beautiful as it is now.

Painting a really rich sky like that dawn spectacular will require a lot of paint and the proper tools, so I’ve armed myself with a pair of palette knives of major proportions, ready to move some paint around. I will also need to find a location that will work well for the road that winds through the painting so that I can get a sense of the place, take some reference photos and get the foreground figure into place.

The Traveler is the Fool, of course.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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