It always begins with color: luscious, subtle, vibrant, complex.

Watching the movement of light across the landscape, I create a local palette that captures of the color of the air and the nuances of temperature and value, light and shadow.

In both pastel and oil I always start with an underpainting, identifying colors beneath the surface. First I lay down an abstract wash, then create a multilayered surface with numerous applications of pastel or oil, sometimes going back again to lay in more washes with further applications of pastel, or scrubbing down to the underpainting to rework the oil. I want to keep the painting process visible/apparent.

I work to keep the surface of paint or pastel playful, maintain the integrity of each individual stroke and keep a sense of the beginning in the end. I want to maintain the gesture, the movement of my hand, creating an illusion of space and light while simultaneously asserting the surface of the painting.  It’s a wall, it’s a window.

To elevate the everyday and possess the transient moment, I want to keep a sense of mystery and hidden secrets behind the window or around the corner. I’m fascinated by interaction: edge of the tree with the sky, paint with the surface, line of the water with the land, shadow with light, people with the landscape creating structures, terraced land and plowed fields.

I love being on the knife blade of time, painting to capture what I’m seeing as the moment passes, being focused, in the flow.

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copyright © 2013 Kathy Hirsh