Delivery Day


Power - Yellowstone Falls 48" x 36" oil by Shirl Ireland

This piece began as a small plein air study - done on location at the Lower Falls Lookout in Yellowstone National Park.

To paint the plein air study, I left MUCH before dawn, so that I could be at the Lookout, set up and ready to paint by the time the sun came up. Of course, I was banking on the weather to cooperate as well. And when you leave your house in the dark, you just can't be sure...

My set up at the Lower Falls Lookout -

over the Yellowstone River, where I painted this Lower Falls plein air study.

It all came together - even the weather! The sun came up and hit the canyon wall, just as I had hoped. So I painted FAST to capture that fleeting moment.

Lower Falls Lookout 6"x6" plein air oil by Shirl Ireland

The most important part of my plein air study here was to capture those colors. Then, I would have the information to translate them later to a studio piece.

Painting a large studio piece of the Lower Falls was a daunting subject to tackle. I wanted to capture that dramatic first light across the canyon at day break. It was a complicated scene! A painting that I worked on over a long period of time... adjusting, tweaking, adding and changing passages to bring it all together. FINALLY, calling it done and hanging it in the Gallery...

The new owners had seen the piece hanging in the Gallery some time ago and had been thinking about it ever since. (That's a good sign to an artist!) Recently, they contacted me about acquiring the painting for their home... saying they just couldn't get it out of their mind.

As luck would have it, they live close enough to deliver the piece in a day with our SUV. In it's frame, it measures 4 foot by 5 foot - that's a two person job. So this morning John and I set off to place the painting in it's new 'forever home'...

WOW - did it all come together when we arrived! The piece fit perfectly in their 'first choice spot', the frame complemented the colors and decor of their home AND the existing lighting hit the falls just right to enhance the painting and highlight the colors and textures. The bonus - you can see the piece from many areas of their home, including the entry, their living room and the kitchen island. They were very pleased!

Tonight, they sent me a photo of them toasting to their new painting. Somehow, paintings do seem to find their perfect homes...


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