William’s Creek, oil on canvas, 66×100

William’s Creek is a tributary to the Umpqua River in southern Oregon. This painting is from an image taken in the early light of day that somehow snuck through the trees to light up this clear pool in the woods.

My initial reaction to the scene was to want to sit there and just take it in. It was so beautiful and peaceful and really quite wonderful to behold. I really liked the effect the super-clear water had on the color of the stones and boulders. Of course, this is what also made it a real challenge to paint. This intimate view of a clear mountain stream demanded its large size.

Initially, I had chosen to paint a vertical piece from the left side, but after many months of debate I elected to do the whole scene. I arrived at 66×100 because I wanted it big to evoke in a viewer a similar response to mine. I put it on two canvases to facilitate moving it around.

The two 50×66 canvases were constructed with special attention being paid to where I folded the raw canvas over the corners to achieve the tightest possible fit between them. I also constructed a wall mount to facilitate painting.

Each step of my process became a lot more demanding due to the extreme size. I had long since forgotten what I learned from a painting completed earlier in my career that was 120×240. I persevered regardless and became enmeshed in the project for 6 weeks!