I go far out into places where human beings are small and insignificant to sense my place in them.
Shirl is always trying to capture the light, the reflections, the shadows, the mood. Often, working plein air at dawn or dusk to experience the glorious but fleeting color harmonies, the constantly changing reality. She will drive for hours into Yellowstone in the dark to catch the spectacular color transformation of sunrise at a particular pre-scouted spot. It’s a sport to capture it on canvas before it is something different and the color is gone, or a cloud moves in to change everything, or the sun crests the mountain to shine bright on what was just a shadow, or the wind kicks up and blows the whole thing over.
The best paintings go to the studio as studies and references for big pieces. There they are tested. Then they are “allowed” back onto the gallery walls to be shared and show the initial spontaneous emotion of that outing. Shirl spends hours in nature capturing time, moments really. Time well spent to share with others and teach them of nature’s possibilities.