It’s always about lighting. The right light can transform an everyday scene into something magical. There are several places I stalk regularly in the hopes of catching it in just the right light. This is one of them.

This waterfall was made visible—and special—by the reddish hue of low-level sunset light and clear skies above. That’s why the rocky outcrops overlooking the Columbia Gorge look so red. The sun was just minutes from setting, but the sky was still illuminated a clear pale blue.

This piece posed several painting challenges. Nailing the red light on the cliffs was tricky because there’s a fine line between red and pink. Next, the dense trees needed multiple layers of paint to give them definition and depth. Lastly, the painting needed attention to tiny details throughout to bring it all together.