This painting is of dune grass in the autumn on the shore of Lake Michigan. Inspiration for the peculiar way it is painted and the colors I used came from a visit to Rome where I saw the frescos from Livia’s Dinning Room installed at the Palazzo Massimo. Livia was the wife of Augustus Caesar. These frescos of a country garden cover all four walls of a room that is otherwise empty save a few benches. The lighting in the room simulates an entire day in a few minutes enabling you to see the work in many different types of light. It is a totally immersive painting and the way it is staged, a totally immersive experience. You can imagine yourself standing in the middle of a Roman garden.
The fresco has worn over time in a way that seems to enhance its beauty. Being surrounded by that painting reminded me of Monet’s giant waterlilies paintings.
My painting is on a wood panel measuring 16” x 32”. It took months to paint because all the grass had to painted many times — thousands of strokes! I wanted to build up layers of paint to give the feel of the denseness of the grass. The patchy sky and the “worn” looking sections are from my memory of Livi’s Villa.
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