Dissecting a Painting

Someone (wisely) said if you can explain a painting, then you should go into poetry and forget painting. Paintings are about color, light, and shadow. No deep message. Just visual stuff.

I didn’t set out to do an allegorical painting with The Trail . It was when i finished it that I was struck by the imagery. It’s the same sort of thing that allows us to see faces on Mars when the Orbiter simply took a photo of some odd rocks at low resolution. We bring our own stories to the visual world, both the natural and painted worlds.

Mind you, I don’t expect you to see the same things. I sort of hope you don’t. Makes things more interesting that way. My job deals with light, color, and shadow. It’s what I bring to the “art experience”. You bring whatever you have with you and we meet at the painting. What follows is what happened when I was my own audience.

The Trail Aspenglow 1.JPG

The main path is the focal point of the painting. It is broad and smooth, suggesting a lot of people have walked on it. Along the sides are rocks that might trip you up if you stray too far from the middle. There are rocks in the middle of the path where you’re standing but they are not barriers, just impediments slowing you down before you get to the middle smooth area of the path.


To the left is a barely discernible path winding behind and between the trees. It’s an alternative to the main path.

The main path is the orthodox road. The little path is the less used way. It’s not well defined, is full of hidden places to trip you up. From it you will be able to see the main path with your family, friends, your work… all your daily life… on the main path. For all the trouble it takes to walk the other path, all you’ll find there is yourself.

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