All these works were completed on location in Colorado National Monument, not far from my home here in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I work in small sizes on location, usually in the 8 x 10" size range. Working small allows me the time for selecting and honing an idea, even in fleeting light, and allows me to explore several different subjects in a day. Some of the small field sketches I create are finished works in their own right, saying everything I have to say about a subject. The rest serve in their traditional role as reference material for larger, more carefully orchestrated studio paintings.
My field sketches generally are completed in two hours or less. I always work on
clean, white panels, and orient myself so that my panel is in the shade. My purpose in this
practice is to prevent direct sunlight from blazing off the white panel and interfering with
my ability to judge relative values as I work on the painting. Whether the field sketch is
successful or not, I never rework or adjust it back in the studio, choosing to preserve it,
and the raw information it contains, "as-is" for use as reference in a later painting.
I use a relatively simple palette for both field and studio work, comprised of: Hansa Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Medium, Venetian Red, Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Rose, Viridian, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue Deep, and Titanium White.