Painting with Chris Gargan is very motivaitonal. He has much energy for paintning and he often completes large canvases in one go. The best thing about Chris, is that he forces you to think. During our painting time at Taliesin, we were constantly trying to restate what the experience meant to us, not only dealing with the facts of the place but how do we feel about it. The project of working at Taliesin was meant to be a leisurly time, for artists to do their thing and to come together at the end with some paintings. Because of Chris, wanting to make more of this time, we did make more of this time. We groped for answers and tried to experiment. One idea that sticks out in my mind is that Chris often enjoyed the fogginess of the first painting of the day, trying for the answers. He liked the exploration process and thought that after becoming warmed up, we would loose some of that. There were times where I was very enthused to be painting and times where I wanted to throw the canvas and never come back.
The first piece above was painted on Chris's birthday. This view of the midway farm marked the point in the summer where I started to pick up steam with the project. It was a hot and milky morning. During these hot days, the paint loosens up quite a bit, and when this happens I'm tempted to use some thicker strokes of color. It was the first piece that I tried out some transparent green gold, which gave the shadows some luminous qualities while still painting with thick impastos.