Usually, when I do a paint out, I spend way too much time driving around looking for stuff. I went through the same thing in Maui and really shouldn’t have had too. There’s a painting in every direction. This painting is a case of actual positive results from driving and driving and looking for that thing that rings the doorbell and says “hello”. I found this painting in a coffee field up the mountain from Lahaina. It’s a beautiful piece of property called Kaanapali farms and it’s a real coffee farm. The rows of coffee plants were crossed with bumpy red dirt roads that, in some areas, were impassable with my little rental sedan. But I kept driving. Up the hill and across the hill and over the mountain and then I saw these trees in the distance that were, as it turned out, Kukui trees. I ended up in this field of green rows dotted with lighter green tall trees that receded into the distance. It was a William Wendt painting and so worth the drive.
In an earlier comment John had asked about the whole foreground, mid ground and distance thing and this is a great opportunity to talk about it. When I saw this composition, I knew a couple things; 1) i had to do it and 2) it would be hard. Hard because it was a sea of green the went up into the hills and also because the wind was gusting to 30 miles per hour. The first thing I did, the first thing I always do was establish the receding darks and then placed the corresponding lights. The darks lose more intensity as they go back than the lights because they are, in effect, the absence of light, so atmosphere has more effect. The lights maintain more of their value but loose intensity as they recede. Just compare the shadow sides of like things in each of the 3 zones from foreground to distance. I actually thought this one was going to be a real bear but it went smoothly enough. 16×20 and about 4 hours. I didn’t sell it but i did leave it in the gallery there.