Painting of the Week

Painting of the Week – Hawleyscape

Atmospheric Perspective – Use Color to Create Depth

One fall afternoon, my Dad was sleeping when I went to visit him, so instead I drove north down the road and took pictures of fields around Hawley, Minnesota.  Surprisingly that road must have divided the flat land of the Red River Valley from the area rolling hills I had expected.   For miles, I could see orange soybean fields interrupted only by shelter belts.  The distant trees looked lighter and bluer in the distance – the phenomena of atmospheric perspective.

This is truly a static composition, “restful” based on horizontal bands interrupted in this case by a few verticals.  Variations easily create interest.  Objects appear warmer and darker as they come towards the foreground.  The blue trees beyond the orange fields turned greener while the fields looked reddera perfect playground of complementary colors.   Many times I have thought about painting these simple shelterbelt shapes and it was to focus on them.