I believe the actual photo for the inspiration to this painting was taken by my cousin, Nina Houghton. The picture was taken along the Sandy Beach Road on Islesford in the evening so the boathouse was dark against the amazing sunset. This was one of my earlier paintings, acrylic on aquaboard. Clouds and skies intrigue me, among many things, and trying to paint the beauty of an incredible sunset is very difficult. I was told by someone, "Why bother? You'll never get the sunset to be as magnificent as it really is."
I agree with this statement. I will probably never get any of my paintings to look exactly the way they really are and I'm not trying to. Instead, I see it more of a challenge to see how close I can get my paintings to invoke some sort of response from the viewer. There are colors I see in the night sky that make me think anything is really possible. Or, how is that possible? How is that color, right there, that bit in the mountains, how is that possible? And why isn't it reflecting somewhere?
I often use photographs from family and friends as my jumping off point. The photograph gives me shapes and positioning of objects such as an old boat house, or a boat in the tall grasses or the formations of clouds in the sky, and then I go from there. I take bits and pieces from the photographs and integrate them with my imagination. Maybe the final painting reminds the viewer of a special place but in reality, it is nowhere at all.
I know I will not get close to the brilliance of some of the sunsets I have seen but the challenge to try is right there. The same can be said for finding the various shades and textures of green for the trees and bushes and grasses outside my studio window right now. I'm not painting to give an exact replica of what is out there. I paint to remind myself, and to show others, of what I see in my world right now. My paintings remind me of people who are gone, my kids growing up, pets that are no longer here and my favorite places. I know "impossible" is all around me, but the rewards I get from trying to create the Impossible have been incredibly fulfilling so far.