The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Cliff Cave County Park (View location of my easel)
June 28--6pm
"Cottonwoods In Evening Sun"
Oil   11x14
Inspiration and Design:
My wife, Penny, and I frequently walk the trails at Cliff Cave County Park.  During these visits, I often notice the Cottonwood Trees growing on the banks of the Mississippi River.  They are a remarkable tree species.  They tower over the others.  Their leaves are magnificent color in each season.  And most remarkable of all is the movement of their leaves in even a slight wind.  They are in the same family as Aspens, and they quake similarly.  I set up my easel about 30 yards west of a large grouping of Cottonwoods on the Mississippi River bank.  My goal for this painting was to capture on canvas my response to these Cottonwood Trees.  First, I wanted the composition to indicate the imensity of the trees.  Therefore, their shape occupies a large portion of the canvas, and my composition implies that they reach well above the top of the canvas.  Second, it was late evening, and the light was striking the trees from the side.  This lighting effect was very attractive, and to depict it I followed nature's lead and alternated dark- and light-value passages up and down its length, most notably on its trunk.  Third, Cottonwood foliage in summer is a beautiful bluish-green, and I utilized the brightest green and blue hues on my palette.