Three of the paintings in this exhibition are based on a color experience in the gardens at the Dixon last fall that I found spectacular.
 warm, late afternoon light + goldening foliage + deep neutral violet grasses + zinnia gradients from oranges to pinks to violets + warm white fragrant roses + cypress olive greens + soft coral angel trumpets

On the way, Thad and I stopped by DLG Memphis.  I was wowed by the precise pitch of shifting fall violets, greens, and oranges in a Mary Sims painting (Untitled 29095) that was hanging on the entry wall of the gallery.   In my studio, I was just beginning a fall painting, and then, David and I talked about a summer 2019 show in Nashville.  All of these factors made me especially attentive to new color ideas when we arrived at the Dixon.

Thad enjoyed taking photos.

I went back a few days later and made an oil on paper study.

The colors that most caught my attention weren't necessarily in the same frame.  When I made this collection of swatches, I was interested in recording a limited selection of colors that felt like the whole.

Fall Garden - layering in angel trumpet colors early.  

In addition to painting color swatches from observation, I also make swatches as I add colors to a painting.  This helps me keep a sense of how the colors are working together when I can no longer see earlier layers covered by stencils.  I also use the swatches for planning future paintings.

Small studies help along the way, too.  These tracked warmer and cooler interpretations of the fall garden at the Dixon.

Fall Garden / 55" x 85" / Oil on Canvas / 2019

The colors in Hot Lavender are similar to the colors in Fall Garden, but the proportions are significantly different - with an emphasis on violets in Hot Lavender.

A series of in-progress images... These photos sometimes help me make decisions for later layers, sometimes help me solve problems or remember processes, but I also enjoy recording the temporary stages of the paintings, the activity.

Hot Lavender / 4' x 5' / Oil on Panel / 2019

Angel Trumpets are native to tropical regions of South America but are now extinct in the wild - existing only in cultivation.

Angel Trumpets was the last painting that I finished ahead of the show.  My first attempt had gotten away from me, so I mixed all of the paint before I started the second try.  For the first time ever, I had exactly enough.

Angel Trumpets / 36" x 51" / Gouache on Paper / 2019

Photo credits: Thad Lee (thank you)
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