Photo of Summer Rainbows Across the Lake

summer08notes.7Summer is fast approaching as I prepare these notes. The image to the left is a photo I took a few days ago. It is one of several such incredible broad bands of rainbow we’ve seen here in summer. They often occur double like this one.

I’ve taken a few hikes along local streams, gathering photos of the rushing water during spring runoff. They yielded several promising images from which to work. It’s always exciting to have these images in my head to “brew” for a while. The gardens are also providing early painting subjects. I even bring my camera when visiting the local garden centers and these lovely dahlias were captured on a recent outing.


Here’s how I work with photos to design a painting.

Lots of parts!


Notice that I came in closer to the flower as I shot more images. It is important to edit your subject. Don’t include everything you see just because it’s there. Think of it this way: you don’t choose everything in your closet when dressing. You design your outfit. The same goes for making a meal. Just because a lot of foods are in the refrigerator, you wouldn’t want to combine them all. Be as discerning in designing your paintings as you are with dressing and cooking!

Getting better

Getting better

Even better

Even better


Better still